China’s cash-strapped HNA secures restructuring deal for West Air
Adds Hainan Airlines seeks loans
HONG KONG, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Cash-strapped Chinese conglomerate HNA Group HNAIRC.UL said on Monday it has agreed a deal to restructure its low-cost carrier West Air with a Chongqing-based asset management firm.
Chongqing Yufu Asset Management Group and its affiliates will together hold at least 70% stake in West Air, becoming the biggest shareholder, HNA said in a statement.
West Air, established in 2007, operates about 160 domestic and international routes with a fleet of 35 airplanes.
It has been directly controlled by HNA, whose affiliates also own struggling Hong Kong Airlines as well as Hainan Airlines Holding Co Ltd 600221.SS.
Budget carrier Hong Kong Airlines was ordered by Hong Kong's air transport regulator on Monday to shore up its financial position by Dec. 7 or risk the suspension or loss of its licence.
Hainan Airlines, which has seen declining profits, said in a Shanghai stock exchange filing on Monday that it will seek 4 billion yuan ($568 million) in loans from eight banks led by China Development Bank.
The funds will be used to cover the costs of fuel, maintenance charges, staff salaries and operational expenses, it said in the filing.
($1 = 7.0389 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Meg Shen; Editing by Edmund Blair and Susan Fenton)
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