CHINA: China Eastern still smitten with SIA

China Eastern Airlines continues to push for a tie-up with Singapore Airlines despite being rebuff ed by its shareholders over the Singapore carrier’s proposal to take a stake in the Chinese carrier. China Eastern president and chairman Li Fenghua told China Daily that the company was still keen on the Singaporean carrier becoming a partner. […]


China Eastern Airlines continues to push for a tie-up with Singapore Airlines despite being rebuff ed by its shareholders over the Singapore carrier’s proposal to take a stake in the Chinese carrier.

China Eastern president and chairman Li Fenghua told China Daily that the company was still keen on the Singaporean carrier becoming a partner.

On the sidelines of the Shanghai municipal committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) meeting, Li said the Shanghai-based airline is continuing its cooperation with Singapore Airlines on a commercial level and the two “arediscussing their partnership”.

The remarks come after China Eastern accused a proposal by China National Aviation Corp (CNAC), the parent of its biggest domestic rival Air China, of counter-bidding for its shares, of being “informal” and “not conformingto legal procedures”.

It is the first time China Eastern has made clear its determination to form astrategic partnership with Singaporean

investors since its proposal to sell a 24 per cent stake to Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government’s investment arm, at HK$3.80 (49 cents) per share was rejected at a shareholders’ meeting on Jan 8 on theback of CNAC’s counter-off er.

“(Our partnership with) Singapore Airlines is sure,” Li told China Daily. “Our cooperation on a business level is still going on, and we are in talks. “The next step is to seek a second chance (for the partnership with Singaporean investors), with support from the State Council and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration,” Li said.