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AIRLINES HNA Group THE BIG PLAN


HNA Group’s airline operations are central to its expansion plans as it seeks investments to reach its goal of becoming a global top 50 company by 2030


WORDS RICHARD MASLEN


n the space of 25 years, the HNA Group has evolved from a small local airline domiciled in Hainan Island in the southernmost province of the People’s Republic of China to become a major force across multiple industries and a Fortune 500 global conglomerate. Today, it employs more than 113,000 staff, has assets of around $80 billion, generates revenue of over $25.6 billion and posted a profit of $206.9 million in its last fiscal year. However, this growth has been achieved


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somewhat quietly and many do not realise how far the conglomerate’s tentacles spread around multiple industry sectors with core divisions in aviation, financial services, real estate, tourism and logistics. Much of its success has been achieved


by cross-industry expansion within China, but since 2008 it has increasingly looked to expand globally. Its high quality service proposition in China has been introduced across multiple international brands, including most recently bids for hotelier


16 ISSUE 5 ROUTES NEWS 2016 routesonline.com


Carlson Hospitality Group and catering services company Gategroup. Wherever the business’s aviation


activities and airline routes take it, other investments seem to follow in the tourism, hospitality, logistics and financial services sectors as its air connectivity becomes a facilitator for wider international trade. The HNA Group is a growing player in


the airline sector. This currently accounts for just over a third of its activities and encompasses interests in a variety of airlines in China as well as established airline brands in Africa, Europe, South America and most recently with a significant investment in Virgin Australia in Australasia. So how many airlines does the


conglomerate have an interest in? At the last count it was close to 20, although for some the ownership structure is a little blurred via joint venture shareholdings and subsidiary partnerships. “HNA Group is committed to expanding


in the airline industry through strategic investments in companies with strong


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