Shanghai-based Ctrip.com International (NASDAQ: CTRP), China’s largest online travel agency, has agreed to invest RMB3 billion ($463 million) in China Eastern Air Holding Company, one of China’s three major air transportation groups and the parent company of China Eastern Airlines (SSE: 600115, SEHK: 00670, NYSE: CEA).
As part of the deal, Ctrip and CEAH agreed to collaborate on a broad range of products and services such as low-cost transportation solutions, international air travel, IT technology, travel insurance, and e-commerce.
Ctrip may further increase its ownership stake in China Eastern Airlines in the next twelve months following the placement and may be entitled to appoint an observer or a director to China Eastern Airlines’ board.
Ctrip.com International, Ltd. is a leading travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours, and corporate travel management in China. It is the largest online consolidator of accommodations and transportation tickets in China in terms of transaction volume.
Ctrip enables business and leisure travelers to make informed and cost-effective bookings by aggregating comprehensive travel related information and offering its services through an advanced transaction and service platform consisting of mobile apps, Internet websites and centralized, toll-free, 24-hour customer service center. Since its inception in 1999, Ctrip has experienced substantial growth, becoming one of China’s best-known travel brands. As of April 21, 2016, Ctrip had a market capitalization of $13.38 billion.
China Eastern Air Holding Company is one of the top three state-owned major airline groups in China. The company operates in eight industry segments covering air transport, aviation real estate, aviation finance, catering, media and duty-free goods, trade circulation, industrial development and general aviation. China Eastern serves 94 million passengers with premium air service, ranking as on of the top 10 airlines in the world in terms of key indexes in 2015. With Shanghai as its core hub, China Eastern is a member of SkyTeam, with a world-wide aviation network serving 1,052 destinations in 177 countries.
As of December 31, 2014, the company operated a fleet of 151 aircrafts, including 485 passenger aircrafts, 12 freighters, and 18 business aircrafts. It has operations in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and internationally. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Shanghai. As of April 21, 2016, China Eastern Airlines had a market capitalization of $7.91 billion.