Ctrip.com International, the Chinese online travel giant, is has agreed to acquire a stake in Shanghai’s China Eastern Airlines.
Ctrip, which is also based in Shanghai, will pay CNY3 billion (US$463 million) for a 3.55% stake, at a price of CNY6.44 per share.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ctrip could increase its ownership stake in China Eastern in the next 12 months and may be entitled to appoint an observer or director to the airline’s board.
The additional funding will allow China Eastern to expand its fleet.
Earlier this year another Chinese OTA, Qunar, revealed that it is planning to launch its own airline. Based in Shenzhen, the new Shenhui Airlines will be a low-cost carrier that could take to the skies as early as in 2017.
Ctrip recently acquired a stake in Qunar as part of a share swap deal with Baidu.