China's Henan province has ordered its namesake airline to change its name after it suffered China's worst civil aviation disaster in nearly six years, saying the accident had tarnished the province's reputation.
A Henan Airlines passenger jet crashed last Tuesday while trying to land at night at a small airport in the country's northeast, killing 42 people. Officials have yet to announce the cause of the crash but initial probes and survivors' accounts indicate the plane missed the runway and crashed on the ground.
The Henan Administration for Industry and Commerce, in an announcement posted late on Friday on its website, said the decision to revoke permission to use the provincial name for the airline was taken because the name tarnished the province's image.
Henan had given special permission to the carrier to use the name when it moved its headquarters there last year. But in the wake of the accident, the airline's name had "cast an extremely adverse impact" on the province, the announcement said.
The crash by the Brazilian-made Embraer 190 plane also injured 54, including 17 who are in a critical condition.
China has announced it will inspect airline safety measures countrywide in the wake of the crash.
China's aviation industry has expanded rapidly in recent years and regulators have struggled to keep up. Airports have proliferated as have small regional airlines, reaching into remote cities like Yichun – 90 miles from the Russian border – that are eager to develop tourism and other industries to catch up with the country's economic boom.