China Eastern Airlines has transformed its Beijing-based full-service subsidiary China United Airlines into a budget carrier. China Eastern will also increase the number of aircraft in China United’s fleet to 80 by 2019. China Eastern Chairman Liu Shaoyong stated that China United “hopes to bring on board a strategic investor.” Analysts believe that China’s airline market, currently dominated by state-owned carriers China Eastern, China Southern Airlines and Air China, is on the verge of a low-cost travel boom.

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