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China's Sichuan Airlines Group swallows United Eagle

China's Sichuan Airlines Group has taken over United Eagle Airlines, which is also based in Sichuan province's capital Chengdu.

A spokesman in Chengdu for Sichuan Airlines says the group paid 200 million yuan ($29 million) to increase its stake in United Eagle to 76% from 20%.

He says one of Sichuan Airlines' executives, Li Haiying, has been appointed United Eagle's CEO.

The spokesman also confirms that two of United Eagle's five aircraft have been parked.

A report in state-run China Daily says United Eagle has been losing money and Sichuan Airport Group had stopped providing it boarding bridges because the carrier owes it money.

Officials at United Eagle were unavailable for comment.

United Eagle launched in July 2005 making it one of the first privately-owned carriers in China, a market largely controlled by state-owned airlines.

The original owner was Guangzhou IT company E & Net Communications but later new owners were added, such as Shanghai's Juneyao Group, when United Eagle raised more cash.

According to Flight's ACAS database United Eagle has two Airbus A320-family aircraft on lease from GE Commercial Aviation Services, two A320-family aircraft on lease from Genesis Lease and one A320-family aircraft on lease from International Lease Finance.

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