HNA Group Co Ltd (HNA Group) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC) signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase 20 ARJ 21 aircrafts at the 51st Farnborough International Airshow in London, the first tangible result between the two sides after signing a strategic cooperation framework agreement in early June of this year in Shanghai. After delivery, the 20 jets will be operated by Urumqi Air, an HNA Group subsidiary.
The ARJ 21 aircraft, China’s first turbofan regional jet developed in accordance with international airworthiness standards, excels in five major areas: product adaptability, passenger comfort and cost efficiencies, as well as universality of parts and materials not only across the model suite but also with other commonly built aircraft, all of which help the model meet the operational requirements of taking off and landing at the airports located across the western plateau of China, a region frequently beset by high temperatures, and surmounting obstacles on complex routes, making the aircraft an ideal choice for routes and airports in Western China.
Through innovation both in terms of corporate organization and aircraft design, HNA Group plans to deepen the cooperation with COMAC with an eye to introducing and operating China-made aircraft, setting up an end-to-end industry chain that encompasses production, materials supplying, sales and support for aircraft manufacturing in addition to improving the production chain and setting up a leasing services network for aircraft made in China, in a move to transition the country’s civil aviation sector into a leadership position on the global stage.
Hainan Airlines, Urumqi Air and Tianjin Airlines, as well as HNA Group’s other subsidiaries, will also benefit from the cooperation, speeding up business development and facilitating the group’s contribution to China’s the Belt and Road Initiative by building a more convenient regional airline network.
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/AirlinersGallery.com. 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).
Fuzhou Airlines (Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China) has received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the CAAC and plans to commence operations on October 1. The new airline is a joint venture of Hainan Airlines (60%) which is providing the aircraft, crews and technical expertise, Fuzhou State’s Assets Investment Holdings Limited, Century Golden Resources Group and Ningbo Ruitong Network Technology Company Limited according to WCARN.
Boeing 737-84P B-5430 (msn 34032) is the first aircraft to be painted in their new livery with a logo featuring a dragon and a phoenix.
The location of Fuzhou, Fujian Province in China (Google Maps):
Urumqi Air (Urumqi, Xinjiang) is a new airline in China. The new airline is a joint venture between the HNA Group and the state-owned Urumqi Urban Construction Investment Company Limited.
Urumqi Air will be based at Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport, in the capital of Xinjiang in the remote northwest part of China (please see map above).
Urumqi Air took delivery of Boeing 737-84P B-2157 (msn 32600) from Hainan Airlines on August 20 which will provide the technical support and three leased Boeing 737 aircraft for the new carrier. The parent HNA Group will control 70 percent of the stock. Operations are due to start now on August 29, delayed from August 15.
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The logo “integrates the three-color Adlai silk and flying dove, which highlights the geographical reputation of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, symbolizing peace and friendship” according to wcarn.com.
HNA Group (Hainan Airlines) (Haikou and Beijing) quietly celebrated the delivery of the seventh Boeing 787 for Hainan Airlines. The pictured Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner registered as B-2739 (msn 38055) was handed over on May 30. The delivery of this aircraft also represents the 500th airplane aircraft delivered to the HNA Group, including those no longer in service.
Senior HNA official Mr. Mou Weigang made the following remarks at the Boeing handover ceremony (translated from Chinese):
Today, we are very glad to have come to this beautiful “Emerald City” — Seattle – to receive the 500th airplane of the HNA Group. Here, on behalf of Hainan Airlines, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Boeing Company and the friends from all walks of life for your longtime loyalty and support for Hainan Airlines.
As one of the leaders in global aviation, Boeing possesses the most advanced airplane manufacturing technologies and excellent service ability in aviation technology. Over the past century, Boeing has led the world aviation technology revolution with the 247, 707, 727 and many other classic airplanes it has designed and developed, turning flight into one of humanity’s trip modes. Today, the dominant airplanes in the airline market, such as the 737, 747, 777, 787 and so on, are flying all over the world, and have made air travel more secure, more comfortable and more convenient.
Hainan Airlines and Boeing are old partners and friends. After 21 years of hard work, Hainan Airlines has developed from a single air transport enterprise to HNA Group, involving such areas as aviation, real estate, business, hotel, tourism, finance, logistics and more. Hainan Airlines is the flagship air transport enterprise in the HNA Group, and it is also the foundation and main force to develop and expand the HNA Group. The 7th Boeing 787 Dreamliner which will join in Hainan Airlines is the 500th airplane of HNA Group. The number 500 stands for a new milestone in the developmental history of Hainan Airlines. Meanwhile, it marks a new and glorious chapter that Hainan Airlines will open.
Boeing and Hainan Airlines have established and maintained a long-term and friendly cooperative relationship. We appreciate the diversified Boeing technical team which is full of creative spirit, and also thank you for your outstanding services for the development of Hainan Airlines. We hope Boeing and Hainan Airlines will continue to make progress together and provide a high-level flight experience to more travelers around the world.
Special thanks to Joel Chusid, reporting from Seattle.
ACT Airlines (Istanbul) will soon have new investors as it plans to increase its freighter fleet. The HNA Group is planning to acquire a 49 percent share in the airline for $25 million and also add Boeing 747-400 and 767 freighters in Turkey. ACT Airlines will also change its name to MyCargo.
Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW B-3152 (msn 19000274) of Tianjin Airlines stopped at Gran Canaria on delivery. Copyright Photo: Tomas Asensio Lopez.
Grand China Express (subsidiary of HNA Group) on June 10, 2009 was relaunched as Tianjin Airlines (Tianjin) with new Embraer ERJ 190s. 20 daily flights are operated. The first flight departed at 0810 for Guiyang and Xi’an. Tianjin Airlines is a joint venture of the HNA Group, Hainan Airlines and the Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone Investment Company.