Hainan Airlines' boss becomes CR Airways chairman

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Hong Kong carrier CR Airways has a new chairman, Chen Feng, who is also the president and chairman of Hainan Airlines Group, which has been in talks to buy a stake in CR Airways.

Chen Feng has been appointed non-executive chairman replacing Robert Yip Kwong, who is now vice chairman and remains the airline’s largest shareholder, says a CR Airways official in Hong Kong.

The official says: “Chen is world renowned in the aviation industry and a powerful person” so having him closely associated with CR Airways “will help the company’s image. That is why he was appointed.”

CR Airways has signed a codeshare agreement with Hainan Airlines that involves CR Airways services from the cities of Sanya and Haikou, on southern China’s Hainan Island, to Hong Kong. But “the other stuff has not materialised,” the official says in response to reports Hainan Airlines Group is considering buying a 60% stake in CR Airways.

Industry sources in Hong Kong told ATI last week that Hainan Airlines Group is in talks to buy an equity stake in CR Airways. But the CR Airways official declines to comment on a possible buy-in. Hainan Airlines spokespeople were unavailable for comment today.