China Northwest merges with China Eastern

Xian-based BAe 146 operator China Northwest merged with the Eastern Air Group, parent of China Eastern Airlines, on 11 October. The move is part of the consolidation of Chinese airlines ordered by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). At present, China Northwest and China Yunnan, which was also aquired by China Eastern, continue to operate independently. Over the next year, however, their assets and operations will be “injected” into China Eastern. China Northwest operates three BAe 146 series 100s and seven series 300s. The airline’s series 300s are unusual in being fitted with LF507-1H engines, instead of the ALF502R-5s that are typical for BAe 146. Unlike the LF507-1Fs fitted to Avro RJs, however, the -1H has hydromechanical controls rather than a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC). The merger may see BAe 146s once again flying with China Eastern colors — China Eastern operated three BAe 146-100s from its formation in 1989 until 1995.

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