Hainan Airlines (HNA) Group is changing its Tianjin-based regional carrier, Grand China Express, into Tianjin Airlines and has persuaded the authorities in Tianjin to invest in the regional carrier.

A spokesman in Hainan Airlines' Haikou-headquarters confirms that HNA Group's Grand China Express is changing its name to Tianjin Airlines.

A spokesman for the group company, meanwhile, says it will retain a majority stake in the business but that the Tianjin Government and the Tianjin Free Trade Zone will be investing in it in return for a minority stake.

Grand China Express has been operating Embraer 190s and Embraer ERJ-145s but it recently slashed its order for ERJ-145s to 25 from 50.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news