China's Northeast Airlines to be relaunched as Hebei Airlines

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Sichuan Airlines Group has completed its take-over of Northeast Airlines and outlined plans to relaunch the business later this month as Hebei Airlines.

The group invested 400 million yuan ($59 million) in Northeast Airlines for a 97% stake, leaving the previous shareholders - from Shenyang city - with 3% equity, says Sichuan Airlines Group.

Northeast Airlines started in 2006 and was originally based in northeast China's Shenyang city. But at the end of last year it moved its base to southeast China's Guilin city.

Sichuan Airlines says it plans to relaunch the airline on 29 June, subject to regulatory approval, and have it based in Hebei province's Shijiazhuang city and rebrand it Hebei Airlines.

The Hebei provincial government's Hebei Jizhong Energy Group, a business with annual profits of 10 billion yuan, will be an investor in the carrier, it says, adding that the two have already signed a co-operation agreement.

Flightglobal's ACAS database says Northeast Airlines operates one Airbus A319 and two Embraer ERJ-145s.

Sichuan Airlines says in recent weeks Sichuan Airlines itself has launched passenger services from Shijiazhang to: Hefei, Guilin, Lanzhou, Harbin and Chongqing.