China Eastern plans to enter LCC sector

4 Jul 2014 by Clement Huang

China Eastern has announced plans to convert one of its subsidiaries, China United Airlines, into a low-cost carrier (LCC). The move will make the Shanghai-based flight operator the first state-run airline to enter the LCC sector in China, which is currently dominated by privately owned Spring Airlines.

Based in Beijing, China United Airlines maintains a fleet of 26 Boeing 737s but it intends on growing the number to 80 by 2019, when it moves to the Chinese capital's planned second major airport. 

A spokesperson at China Eastern told Business Traveller Asia-Pacific that the process of converting China United into an LCC is ongoing, and no completion date has been set.

It is not known if other state-run carriers such as China Southern and Air China intend on following China Eastern’s footsteps. However, incentives made by the Civil Aviation Administration of China have resulted in lower airport charges and simplified approval process, which encourage the development of more LCCs.

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Clement Huang

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