HNA Group to buy a 23.7% share of Azul for $450 million

Named "Anjo Azul" (Blue Angel)

Azul Brazilian Airlines (Sao Paulo) has issued this statement concerning an investment by the HNA Group:

Azul logo

Countering the headwinds of the current Brazilian economic crisis, Azul Brazilian Airlines announces today an important milestone that positions it as an even stronger and more competitive airline. The Chinese international conglomerate HNA Group has selected Azul as its primary strategic investment in Latin America.

In one of the largest equity investments in a Brazilian company this year, Azul received a firm commitment from HNA Group, subject to completion of certain conditions precedent, for the investment of $450 million (US) in exchange for an economic stake of 23.7%. As a result, HNA Group will be Azul’s newest shareholder and board member. With this equity raise, Azul will have one of the strongest balance sheets in Latin America.

Over the past 20 years, HNA Group has successfully transformed itself from a traditional aviation company to a global conglomerate spanning the aviation, real estate, finance, tourism, and logistics sectors, with revenues of $21 billion and over 110 thousand employees.

HNA Group has a solid experience with aircraft lessors and has recently invested in Swissport, a renowned global aviation handling company. Within its aviation group, HNA owns 14 airlines with a total fleet of 561 aircraft.

According to David Neeleman, CEO of Azul, the Chinese group saw in Azul a solid investment with high growth potential. “The investment of $450 million investment, considering Brazil’s current macroeconomic situation, demonstrates that we have a winning business model and that the HNA Group, as a large investor, has absolute confidence in Azul’s team. Moreover, this investment makes Azul the airline with the highest valuation in the Brazilian market, at US$ 1.9 billion.”

“HNA Group is committed to expanding in the airline industry through strategic investments in companies with strong market positions and excellent management teams. We are pleased to partner with Azul in order to bring more choice and convenience to our customers traveling to and from Brazil. We eagerly look forward to working with Azul founder David Neeleman and his team for the mutual benefit of both airlines,” said Adam Tan, President of HNA Group.

This investment will bring significant benefits to Azul including a stronger cash position, support for its fleet plan, product and service improvements. Moreover, the partnership between Azul and HNA Group will result in commercial agreements, joint negotiation efforts, and adjustments in aircraft allocation. Finally, it also enables the company’s entry into the Asian market.

Seabury Securities LLC, Seabury Group’s investment banking unit, served as financial advisor to Azul.

Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/ Azul is smiling. Azul Brazilian Airlines (Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras) Embraer ERJ 190-200 IGW (ERJ 195) PR-AUB (msn 19000660) arrives at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

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JetBlue Airways partners with Amazon

Named "This Magic MoMint"

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Amazon (Seattle) today announced that unlimited streaming entertainment on Amazon Video is available beginning this week on over 150 JetBlue aircraft equipped with free Fly-Fi broadband Internet, just in time to entertain travelers during the holiday travel season.

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Amazon Prime members can sign-in or sign-up to instantly access tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Amazon Originals such as the critically-acclaimed new series The Man in the High Castle, the multi Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series, Transparent, and the Emmy award-winning kid’s series Tumble Leaf, at no additional cost to their membership. In addition, all JetBlue customers can rent or purchase titles in the Amazon Video store, including new release movies and day-after TV programming. logo


As part of the multiyear year agreement, Amazon on JetBlue has been integrated into The Hub, JetBlue’s entertainment portal that customers access on their personal devices. Amazon on JetBlue offers a high-quality and reliable streaming experience for customers choosing from thousands of titles 35,000 feet in the air.

The collaboration will involve a broad array of benefits for customers, including activities in JetBlue’s flagship Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. In 2016, TrueBlue loyalty program members will be able to earn TrueBlue points for their purchases in more than 40 categories on Amazon while inflight or on the ground through other JetBlue marketing channels.

Customers will also be able to watch Amazon Originals such as the just-launched series The Man in the High Castle as well as the second season of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series Transparent which airs on December 11, among others, on JetBlue’s seatback televisions.

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/ JetBlue Airways’ Airbus A321-231 N946JL (msn 6425) in the Prism tail design prepares to depart from the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) hub.

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Boeing and EVA Air finalize an order for up to 24 787 Dreamliners and two 777-300 ERs

EVA Air 787-10 signing ceremony (Boeing)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and EVA Airways (EVA Air) (Taipei) today finalized a historic order for up to 24 787 Dreamliners (18 787-10s and 6 787-9s) and two 777-300 ER (Extended Range) jetliners (below). The order, valued at more than $8 billion at current list prices, marks the largest single commercial airplane purchase in Taiwan aviation.

Top Photo: Boeing. EVA President Austin Cheng and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner show off a model of the 787-10 in the new livery just announced.

EVA Air logo

EVA Airways becomes the newest Dreamliner customer and will join the 787-10 launch customer team as one of the first airlines in the world to introduce the newest member of the 787 Dreamliner family.

Below Copyright Photos: Manuel Negrerie/

EVA Air 787-10 signing ceremony (MNG)(LRW)

EVA Air 787-10 signing ceremony with FAs (MNG)(LRW)

EVA Airways continues to modernize its long-haul fleet to replace aging aircraft and plans to grow its fleet to more than 100 units by 2020. These new 787-10 Dreamliners will allow the airline to expand into new markets. They will be deployed on medium-range and long-haul flights and will be operated in tandem with the 777-300 ERs to form the backbone of EVA Airways’ fleet.

EVA Airways currently operates more than 40 Boeing airplanes and with today’s order, the airline’s backlog will increase to 37 airplanes, which includes fourteen 777-300ERs, five 777 Freighters and eighteen 787-10s.

EVA Airways’ 777-300 ER fleet continues to grow and the carrier is the world’s eighth largest 777-300 ER operator in the world and fourth largest in Asia.

The 787-10 will be the third and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, robust range and passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement EVA’s Boeing widebody fleet while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics.

The 787-10 will be 25 percent better in fuel and emissions than the airplanes it replaces and more than 10 percent better than anything offered by the competition for the future.

EVA Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/ Brand-new Boeing 777-35E ER B-16725 (msn 44554) displays the new 2015 livery for the expanding carrier.

The new 2015 livery for EVA Air

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Boeing and BOC Aviation announce an order for 22 737-800s and 737 MAX 8s

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Boeing (BA) and BOC Aviation (Singapore), announced an order for 22 737 airplanes, building on the leasing company’s existing order book to fulfill customer demand.

The order, consisting of 11 Next-Generation 737-800s and 11 737 MAX 8 airplanes, will be posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once finalized.

In addition to today’s announcement, BOC Aviation has ordered 167 737 airplanes, including 50 737 MAXs and 16 777s.

BOC Aviation is a leading global aircraft leasing company with a portfolio of 253 owned and managed aircraft operated by 59 airlines worldwide in 29 countries, with commitments to acquire 203 aircraft, as of 30 September 2015. BOC Aviation, owned by Bank of China, is based in Singapore with offices in Dublin, London, Seattle and Tianjin.

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American Eagle to fly the Chicago O’Hare – Albany, NY route

American Eagle (2nd)-Envoy Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N536EA (msn 10315) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 930109.

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is adding American Eagle (operated by Envoy Air) Bombardier CRJ700 jet service from the Chicago (O’Hare) hub to Albany, New York starting on March 3, 2016.

In other news, Mesa Airlines will expand American Eagle services from the Phoenix hub to Lubbock, Memphis, Midland/Odessa and Roswell starting on March 3, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/ Envoy Air’s Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N536EA (msn 10315) arrives in Washington at Reagan National Airport (DCA).

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Garuda Indonesia opens the Denpasar (Bali) – Guangzhou, China route

Garuda Indonesia Airways Boeing 737-8U3 WL PK-GMG (msn 30141) DPS (Michael B. Ing). Image: 924195.

Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) is expanding into China. The flag carrier made this announcement:

Garuda Indonesia logo

As part of its continuous network expansion program, particularly of the Chinese market, Garuda Indonesia on Sunday, November 22, officially launched a direct flight from Denpasar to Guangzhou, China and return.

Garuda Indonesia flies the Denpasar – Guangzhou (GA 896) route three (3) times a week, every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday with a departure from Denpasar scheduled at 23:45 WITA and arriving in Guangzhou at 05:00 LT (local time). Meanwhile, the Guangzhou – Denpasar route (GA 897) is flown every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Departure time from Guangzhou is at 06:15 LT and arrives in Denpasar at 12:00 WITA. On this new route, Garuda operates a Boeing 737-800 NG with a capacity of 12 passengers in business class and 150 passengers in economy class.

Garuda Indonesia’s Director of Services, Nicodemus P. Lampe said that the Denpasar – Guangzhou vv service is part of the airlines network expansion strategy, especially to China. China is a very important market for Garuda Indonesia and the Airline will continue to develop services to this country, explained Nicodemus.

With the launching of this new Denpasar Guangzhou service, Garuda now flies to China 24 times a week, to Shanghai – Jakarta vv (7 times), Beijing – Jakarta vv (4 times), Beijing – Denpasar vv (3 times), Guangzhou – Jakarta vv (7 times) and the newest service, Denpasar – Guangzhou Denpasar vv (3 times), added Nicodemus.

Now, more than ever, Garuda Indonesia is ready to cash in on the huge potential Chinese market, as Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia between January-August 2015 reached 489,233 tourists or an increase of 25.56 percent compared to the same period in 2014, which only reached 389,627 tourists, added Nicodemus.

Apart from flying to Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, Garuda Indonesia also flies 21 times a week to Hong Kong, including Hong Kong – Jakarta vv (14 times) and Hong Kong – Denpasar vv (7 times).

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/ Boeing 737-8U3 WL PK-GMG (msn 30141) prepares to taxi from the gate at Denpasar on the Indonesian island of Bali.

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Six Volga-Dnepr Airlines crew members are killed by the al-Murabitoun terrorist group

Volga-Dnepr Airlines (Ulyanovsk, Russia) issued this statement:

Volga-Dnepr Group logo

On 18-19 November, an Antonov An-124-100 aircraft operated by Volga-Dnepr Airlines was carrying construction machinery from Oslo (Norway) to Bamako (Mali).

After completion of the transportation, 12 employees of the Airline were staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel to rest before their next flight. On 20 November at around 7 a.m. local time the hotel was attacked by armed militants of the al-Murabitoun terrorist group. Six Volga-Dnepr crew members were rescued during the rescue operation by Special Forces and they are now staying safe onboard the aircraft within the airport’s protected area.

On November 21, the victims of the tragedy were identified with the assistance of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Mali and we are deeply saddened to have to confirm that six Volga-Dnepr crew members lost their lives during the terrorist attack in Bamako.

The Airline’s Flight Operation Control Center is working with the Embassies of the Russian Federation and France in Mali and a Boeing 737 aircraft is being prepared to fly to Mali to bring our deceased colleagues back home to Russia.

At this time, our priority is to provide the utmost support, comfort and assistance to the relatives of the Volga-Dnepr employees killed in the tragic events in Mali.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines expresses its deepest condolences to the families and friends of our dear colleagues. The Airline has declared a period of mourning and all the flags at its Head Office have been lowered in respect to our lost crew members.

Alexander V. Kononenko
AN-124-100 Flight Navigator
Born on 14.11.1963

Vladimir V. Kudryashov
AN-124-100 Radio Operator
Born on 18.04.1975

Konstantin V. Preobrazhenskiy
AN-124-100 Flight Engineer
Born on 01.10.1959

Sergey A. Yurasov
Load Master
Born on 14.03.1963

Stanislav N. Dumanskiy
Aircraft Mechanic, Airframe and Engines
Born on 25.09.1973

Pavel A. Kudryavtsev
Aircraft Mechanic, Airframe and Engines
Born on 25.08.1988