Air Macau and Australian budget carrier Virgin Blue are expected to sign a deal on a new Macau-based low-cost airline to be launched in mid-2005, news reports said. Under the deal, expected to be signed next week, the new airline will be 51% owned by privately-held Air Macau, with the remaining stakes divided between Virgin Blue, Hong Kong-based property investor Shun Tak, and China National Aviation Company (CNAC), the reports said. The airline, which has not yet been named, is expected to serve destinations in mainland China not already served by Air Macau. In July this year Malaysia-based budget carrier Air Asia began flights between Macau and Bangkok, seen as a stepping stone for the company into the mainland market.
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