According to Liberty Times Net, Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Eastern Airlines, recently resigned after a 13-year tenure.

In the final stage of his chairmanship, China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735 crashed in Guangxi in March this year, killing 132 passengers and crew.

Insiders reveal that the airline held a meeting on July 22 to announce the decision related to the chairman’s status. After his resignation, Liu Shaoyong will continue to work as a member of the Economic Committee of the nation’s Political Consultative Conference.

The announcement was made only to the group, and the listed company has not yet been notified. Liu’s successor has not yet been appointed. Li Yangmin general manager of China Eastern Airlines, will temporarily take complete charge of the company’s operations.

Liu Shaoyong, 64, became the general manager of China Eastern Airlines in December 2000. He was later promoted to deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China. After moving to China Southern Airlines Group as the general manager in 2004, he worked at China Eastern Airlines in several important positions. Since December 2016, he has served as the chairman of one of China’s largest state-owned airline groups.

The Wall Street Journal quoted informed sources saying in May that U.S. officials said flight recorder data indicated that the crash was suspected of having been deliberately orchestrated by someone in the cockpit, causing the plane to dive vertically from a high altitude. The U.S. is currently investigating the pilot’s deliberate actions. However, it does not rule out the possibility that an unknown person broke into the cockpit, making the plane fall.

China has not released any official report on the cause of the air crash.

Besides the air accident, China Eastern Airlines was a corruption hotbed more than a decade ago. From 2006 to 2013, 12 senior executives of the airlines were sacked. In June 2013, Chen Haiju, its former deputy general manager, who had retired more than two years earlier, was investigated. In October 2015, China’s anti-graft agency indicated the airline had problems with irregular appointments and benefits transfers within its leadership. One month later, Si Xianmin, former deputy secretary and general manager of the group, who had a close relationship with Liu Shaoyong, was investigated.

The flight accident in Liu’s last leadership term still leaves many mysteries. It ended a record of 100 million flight hours and 138 months of safe flights for China’s civil aviation.

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