The management of Astra Airlines is this summer aiming to complete the agreement for the concession of a majority stake in the Thessaloniki-based air carrier to one of the biggest Chinese airlines.
Astra suspended its flights in November last year due to liquidity problems. The main attraction of the deal that the airline hopes to seal with the Chinese investors is the low price of 15 million euros – i.e. the sum of the company’s debts.
These plans were put on hold due to the pandemic, but now – as normality is being restored in China and slowly in Greece – it appears the two sides are resuming their negotiations, which are still far from complete, according to Astra sources.
They add that the Chinese remain keenly interested in acquiring a controlling stake in the Greek air carrier, as evidenced by emails and conference calls between the two sides.
The Chinese are eyeing the shares and management of Astra, which would allow them to perform flights in Europe without the slot restrictions on airlines from third countries. Astra’s small size will not raise any concern about Chinese penetration of the European market.