Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express.

Cathay said Wednesday it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier.

Cathay, Hong Kong's biggest airline, also owns regional carrier Dragonair and air cargo and catering subsidiaries.

HK Express, founded in 2013, serves destinations throughout East and Southeast Asia.