An agreement has been reached on a deal for Cathay Pacific to acquire budget carrier HK Express – with a formal announcement due as soon as later today – according to an anonymously sourced report from SCMP.
Due to the discreet nature of the leaked information, SCMP wasn’t able to confirm details as to the terms of the deal. However, it suggested that priority will be given to streamlining upper management at HK Express, removing the majority of executives who were put in place by its current parent company, HNA Group.
Rumours have circled for some time regarding a takeover of both HK Express and its sister carrier, Hong Kong Airlines. But though Cathay confirmed its interest in acquiring HK Express in early March, it does not seem that Hong Kong Airlines will be included in any agreement. Reports have pointed to the latter airline suffering financially for some time and losing several of its top-level staff.
A takeover would allow Cathay a greater share of Asia’s burgeoning budget airline market but to the air routes which HK Express has access to. Yesterday we reported on HK Express embracing a brand refresh, launching a new tagline and revamping its website, mobile app and key visuals.
Marketing will update on the takeover situation as more details become available.