Hong Kong Airlines, which has been in a storm of its own making for some time, has been a thorn in the side of Cathay Pacific and its lower cost arm Dragon Air.
HNA Group, which owns Hong Kong Airlines via its Hainan Airlines division, is in dire financial trouble, and has been for over a year.
Massively indebted, it’s desperate to raise cash, it’s also got to support Hainan Airlines, so Cathay Pacific has apparently seized upon the opportunity to take out one of its most hated rivals, buy offering to buy HKA’s shares.
Cathay has done everything it can to legally stifle competition at its home base in Hong Kong, which is ever more constrained by its limited capacity, although extensions are planned to the totally artificial island the airport is built on.
The elimination or absorption of one its major competitors would not be unwelcome, and potentially allow it to charge more for tickets to bring it back to profitability.