Hong Kong Airlines' shareholders have demanded the airline present its 2018 accounts before they even consider disbursing the funds needed for the carrier to retain its Air Transport Licence (ATL).

According to Reuters, sources familiar with developments said the demand came at a tense extraordinary shareholder meeting earlier this month. Major shareholders include Chinese private equity firm Frontier Investment Partner with about 34%, and Zhong Guosong, the airline's former executive and director, with about 27%.

During the EGM, at which 29% shareholder HNA Group did not speak at all, the sources told Reuters that the shareholders questioned the airlines’ dealings with other HNA firms, and queried the prices paid to lease aircraft from affiliates as well as the cost of materials bought from them.

In March, the Hong Kong Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) directed Hong Kong Airlines to submit a financial recovery plan given the growing number of creditors that have taken the legal route in order to recover delinquent payments.

Hong Kong Airlines is said to require at least HKD2 billion in funding to ensure it retains its ATL, the report said. The funds are to be raised via a private share placement.

Earlier this month, the Ming Pao Daily News said Indian and Singaporean investors had expressed an interest in Hong Kong Airlines.

The airline told shareholders that it had registered a loss of about HKD3 billion (USD382.5 million) last year against a booked profit of HKD759 million in 2017.