china eastern airlines

Travel booking giant Ctrip invests $463M in China Eastern Airlines

Next Story

Sony finally says it’s adding 2FA to PlayStation Network

China’s biggest travel booking sites are taking to the skies. Hot on the heels of Qunar’s plan to launch an airline alongside unnamed partners leaking out, close frenemy Ctrip has announced a 3 billion CNY ($463 million) investment in China Eastern Airlines, a state-run airline that claims 94 million passengers.

14-year-old China Eastern Airlines operates domestic and international flights, serving 1,052 destinations in 177 countries. One of three major state-owned airlines in China, its parent company is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. Ctrip, which pulled in $1.7 billion in revenue and a $387 million net profit in 2015, said its investment would consist of a private placement of shares.

The deal is part of a wider cooperation between Ctrip and the airline, which say they will team up on “low-cost transportation solutions, international air travel, IT technology, travel insurance, and e-commerce.” Ctrip has taken a board seat via its investment, and it said in a statement that it may increase its shareholding over the next twelve months.

This deal is the second major investment Ctrip has made this year, having poured $180 million into India’s MakeMyTrip in January. This new focus on investments comes after Ctrip agreed to a share swap with Qunar, its biggest rival, back in October of last year. Qunar rejected an offer from Ctrip in the summer of 2015, when it raised $500 million in fresh capital, but months later it relented with this agreement as Baidu, its majority investor, agreed to give Ctrip a 45 percent voting interest in Qunar in exchange for 25 percent of Ctrip.

Featured Image: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock