Air China has targeted Shenzhen in southern China as its newest hub, with a USS$100 million investment in Shenzhen Airlines.
The Beijing-based carrier had wanted a foothold in the Pearl River Delta for some time to compete with Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines. With the capital injection, Air China’s stake in Shenzhen Airlines rises from 25 percent to 51 percent, making it the majority stockholder.
Shenzhen becomes its fourth major base, after its hubs in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, which serve China’s northern, eastern and southwestern areas respectively.
The Guangdong city was a pioneer of China’s economic opening in the late 1970s and has become one of the world’s most important manufacturing and trading centres.
With Shenzhen Air’s more than 100 aircraft and extensive domestic and regional routes, Air China’s profile as a leading player in China’s aviation market will become even more enhanced.
Margie T Logarta