Cathay buys HK Express, will operate it as low-cost carrier

In this March 26, 2019 photo, passengers wait at the check-in counter of Hong Kong Express Airways at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, a Cathay Pacific Airways passenger aircraft takes off at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2017, file photo, Cathay Pacific Chairman John Slosar attends a news conference in Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, a Cathay Pacific Airways passenger aircraft takes off from the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, passengers wait at the check-in counter of Hong Kong Express Airways at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, a Hong Kong Express Airways passenger aircraft takes off from at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, a passenger uses the check-in machine of Cathay Pacific Airways at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, a Hong Kong Express Airways passenger aircraft lands at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, staff members chat at the check-in counter of Cathay Pacific Airways at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, passengers wait at the check-in counter of Cathay Pacific Airways at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this March 26, 2019 photo, a Cathay Pacific Airways passenger aircraft lands at the Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express. Cathay said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG — Cathay Pacific Group is acquiring budget regional carrier HK Express, which it will continue to operate as a low-cost carrier.

The company, which operates Cathay Pacific Airways said Wednesday it will pay a total of 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express, which will remain a separate brand.

Cathay Pacific Group's airlines serve 130 destinations throughout Asia, Europe and North America. It acquired regional carrier Dragonair in 2006 and also owns Air Hong Kong.

HK Express, founded in 2013, serves destinations throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Airline travel through the former British colony of Hong Kong has boomed with an explosion of international travel from mainland China across the region.

Cathay said it will pay for HK Express with a combination of 2.25 billion Hong Kong dollars ($286 million) in cash and 2.68 billion Hong Kong dollars ($341 million) in promissory loan notes.

The transaction would be completed by the end of this year, it said.

Cathay was founded in 1946 by an American and an Australian. A major Hong Kong trading company, Butterfield & Swire, now known as the Swire Group, acquired a 45 percent stake in the company and took over its management a few years later.

Must Read

Red Square, Bangkok temple among ice festival...

Jan 5, 2018

Ice sculptures of Moscow's Red Square and Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha are among...

China rebukes Zara, Delta for calling Taiwan...

Jan 12, 2018

China rebukes Zara, Delta and Medtronic for calling Taiwan a country on their websites in a new...

China monthly car sales pick up in April; EV...

May 11, 2018

Chinese car sales rise 11 percent in April as growth in world's biggest auto market picks up steam

AP Interview: Food agency head hopes talks help...

May 11, 2018

AP Interview: The head of the United Nations' World Food Program says a peace agreement with North...

China eases investment curbs as clash with US...

Jun 29, 2018

China is easing limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and other fields but...