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China Eastern shares up on news that it will inaugurate new budget carrier

HONG KONG--Shares in China Eastern Airlines closed almost three percent higher in Hong Kong Thursday, after it said it would transform one of its units into a budget airline, making it the first state-run firm on the mainland to do so.

The firm ended up 2.93 percent at HK$2.46 in response to the news. The benchmark Hang Seng Index finished flat.

“They are heading in the right direction because they are trying different ways to attract customers,” Tanrich Securities Vice President Jackson Wong told AFP.

China's second biggest airline by passenger volume said its Beijing-based domestic carrier China United Airlines would become a low-cost flyer as it looks to tap a growing desire for travel in the country.

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