Hong Kong Airlines hopes that the city’s government can also provide it with backing amid the coronavirus pandemic after extending HK$27.3 billion ($3.52 billion) in support to flag carrier Cathay Pacific.

In a statement originally shared with local newspaper the South China Morning Post, the HNA Group carrier notes that it has “been contributing to the passenger and cargo throughput at HKIA since 2006” and adds: “We hope that the government will consider their recent airline bailout plan in conjunction with support for other Hong Kong-based carriers, who also help to maintain Hong Kong’s status as an aviation hub.”

The carrier declares itself “committed to serving Hong Kong” and “always open to strong strategic investors to secure our long-term development”.

In its 18 June report, the South China Morning Post, citing anonymous sources, said that the Hainan government working committee managing HNA’s liquidity had authorised several Chinese state-owned banks to provide the carrier with fresh capital to the tune of CNY2 billion ($282 million). Cirium could not independently verify this.

The newspaper’s sources added that the financial support spares the Hong Kong government from bailing out another airline for now.

Hong Kong Airlines would not comment further on what a potential bailout from the Hong Kong government might look like, saying that as a private company it “does not comment on our financial activities publicly nor engage in market speculations”.