China Approves AVIC Airline Venture
The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) has approved plans by China Eastern Airlines and aerospace consortium AVIC I to establish a new regional airline based in Xian. Named Xingfu (Happy) Airlines, the enterprise would involve a 40-percent investment by China Eastern, while AVIC I–the maker of the ARJ21 regional jet–takes the remaining 60 percent. The new airline plans within a year to establish operations with new MA-60 turboprops made by AVIC I subsidiary Xian Aircraft (XAC) and later build a regional jet fleet with ARJ21s. AVIC I and China Eastern signed a letter of intent on the joint venture in August last year and finalized the deal this past January.