China sets up $3.3 billion aviation investment fund: report

BEIJING Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:44pm EDT

China Eastern Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, July 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Aly Song

China Eastern Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, July 29, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has set up a 20 billion yuan ($3.25 billion) investment fund to help bolster its fast-growing civil aviation industry, local media said on Monday.

The Civil Aviation Investment Fund, which is led by the parent of Beijing International Airport Co Ltd (0694.HK), is designed to help finance new airports, aviation economic zones, budget carriers, cargo and general aviation related projects, according to a reported posted on the website of the China Securities Journal.

Beijing has been investing heavily in its aviation industry in recent years to cope with its fast-growing air travel demand. A total of 754 million people took to the air last year, up nearly 86 percent from 2008, official statistics show.

Airport construction also has been picking up speed, with on-going construction at a new facility in the south of Beijing alone costing $14 billion.

About 62 Chinese cities have set up aviation economic zones where plane manufacturers, including Airbus Group NV (AIR.PA) and Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA), have set up shop alongside parts suppliers and logistic companies.

Two new budget carriers, including a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd (600115.SS) (0670.HK) also have started operations this year and more than 100 newly-founded general aviation companies are lining up for registration.

The investment fund is 20 percent controlled by Capital Airports Holding Co. HNA Group, parent of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd (600221.SS), and several fund management firms hold the remainder, the report added.

($1 = 6.15 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Editing by Matt Driskill)

Track China's Leaders