CEFC China Energy Company has announced it has acquired a 10% stake in Czech operator Travel Service Airlines (Prague Václav Havel). During the deal's announcement in Prague on Saturday, September 5, the firm said it planned to acquire a further 39.92% in the carrier at a later date.

"Investing in the largest Czech aircraft operator is, for us, a great opportunity to develop CEFC's business here in Europe. We will also do our part to increase interest in the Czech Republic in the Asian region, both on the part of investors and tourists," CEFC President Chan Chauto said. "In the context of the opening of direct flights between Prague Václav Havel and Beijing Capital, and our next planned project with a major Chinese airline, we want to develop Prague airport into a gateway to the region for tourists and investors from China and Asia."

The transaction, whose value was not disclosed, gives also CEFC access to CSA Czech Airlines (OK, Prague Václav Havel) in which Travel Service owns a 34% shareholding.

In addition to operating regular flights across Europe and the Mediterranean under its Smartwings (Prague Václav Havel) brand, Travel Service also offers ACMI and charter services. Currently, it operates a fleet of six A320-200s, two B737-700s, thirty-two B737-800s, and one B737-900(ER) across its mainline operation as well as its Travel Service Hungary (Budapest), Travel Service Polska (Warsaw Chopin), and Travel Service Slovakia (Bratislava) subsidiaries.