Cathay Pacific mulls bid for HNA’s HK carriers

HONG KONG • Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Asia’s biggest international carrier, is studying a bid for stakes in two smaller Hong Kong airlines backed by embattled Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co Ltd, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Cathay Pacific has held preliminary talks with HNA about acquiring minority stakes in Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd and Hong Kong Airlines Ltd, according to the people. A couple of local tycoons have also been considering investments in Hong Kong Airlines, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express would be attractive because of the routes they have the rights to fly, the people said. The suitors’ discussions with HNA have been progressing slowly, and there’s no certainty they will result in a transaction, according to the people. — Bloomberg