The central Chinese province of Henan has revoked the right of an airline to use its name, saying a recent fatal crash has tarnished its reputation.
The Henan Airlines plane crashed just short of the runway at a brand-new airport in northeastern China last week, killing 42 people in China’s worst aviation disaster for six years. Now Henan’s provincial government has told the airline it can no longer be named after the province, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Henan Airlines, a small regional carrier, was until last year known as Kunpeng Airlines. It was re-named after moving its corporate headquarters to Henan’s capital, Zhengzhou.
Underdeveloped and land-locked Henan, home to an estimated 100 million people, is the source of many of China’s army of migrant workers who have fanned out across the country in recent years to work in factories and on building sites.
The unlucky province is also where China’s AIDS epidemic took off in the 1990s because of government-run commercial blood-selling schemes that resulted in entire villages becoming infected.
Henan Airlines has been grounded since the fatal crash. When and if it returns, the Henan government wants it to have a different name, because its current title "misled the public and tarnished the province’s image", Xinhua said.