Air China does not plan to buy the Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific

The airline Air China Ltd does not plan to buy the Hong Kong company Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, as confirmed by a director of the Chinese state airline to the newspaper ‘South China Morning Post’.

«Based on what I know, I don’t think that is anywhere on the agenda,» Air China director Stanley Hui told the newspaper after being asked if the airline could try to buy the Cathay company.

The Hong Kong airline has become the largest victim of anti-government protests after China demanded that the personnel involved in the demonstrations be suspended, which have led the former British colony to suffer a major political crisis.

The president of Cathay, John Slosar, announced last week his plans to resign in November, just three weeks after the general director Rupert Hogg left in the middle of the increasing control on the part of the regulatory authorities.

Air China is Cathay’s second largest shareholder, behind Swire Pacific Ltd, which has a 45 percent stake. Patrick Healy, a long-time Swire executive, was appointed last week as a substitute for Slosar.

Several analysts believe it would be logical for Air China to take over the rest of Cathay in the future. However, Hui has explained to the newspaper ‘South China Morning Post’ that any movement led by Beijing that changed ownership of Cathay Pacific could send a wrong signal to foreign investors.