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B.C.'s HarbourAir expands to China through deal with billionaire Zuo Zongshen

VANCOUVER - British Columbia sea plane company HarbourAir is expanding overseas as part of a partnership with one of the richest men in China.

The airline says in a news release that says Zongshen Group Co. Ltd., founded and run by billionaire Zuo Zongshen, has acquired a minority share of its company.

HarbourAir says China recently opened the door to low-altitude commercial flights, making sea plane travel viable in many cities on the coast or near major waterways.

The airline says it will work with Zongshen Group to offer air travel to millions of Chinese people, many of whom are hours away from airports but close to the water.

HarbourAir founder Greg McDougall says the deal will bring a B.C. airline into the world's largest marketplace.

Zongshen says China's urbanization rate has created enormous demands for innovative transportation.

HarbourAir says Canadians still own 75 per cent of voting shares so control of the company will not change.

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