Press: Air China lifts China Eastern stake

China National Aviation Corp, a sister company of Air China, increased its stake in China Eastern Airlines Corp just two days after China Eastern signed a preliminary agreement to sell a combined 24 per cent share to Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holdings.The stake raising from 9.9 per cent to 11 per cent reignited speculation that Air China plans to take a leading role in the next round of consolidation among the big carriers.

Air China may still hang on to fight for China Eastern since the deal has yet to be finalised, said Andrew Au, a transport analyst at Cazenove.