growth of tourism in spite of the country’s economic slowdown. “Of course!” he said when he was asked in an interview with the Financial Times whether mergers and acquisitions will continue. “The more money Chinese have, they

go all around the world. Any country that doesn’t have Chinese tourists, then that country has a problem,” he told the FT. “So the development of aviation has a big potential. There will be an impact [from China’s economic slowdown] but it won’t be that big. So we’re very confident.” After entering the Fortune Global 500

list of the largest companies by revenue at number 464 in 2014, HNA Group has continued its growth. In fact in the past year its spending spree has passed $20 billion and a deal to buy Ingram Micro, a US information technology group, could turn HNA group into one of the world’s top 100 companies, with revenue exceeding $100 billion. “By 2020, we can become one of the top

100 companies, and by 2030, we want to be one of the top 50,” Chen told Bloomberg Markets in 2014. “Assets are still cheap in the US and Europe, and we will continue to acquire them. We need a batch of world- class companies to emerge from China to help the country’s growth, and HNA will be one of those. We want to be everywhere.” With the rapid expansion of the

intercontinental route networks of its airline subsidiaries and an emerging alliance strategy across its Chinese interests, the HNA Group will certainly no longer be able to continue to grow under the radar, and it is sure to become one of the most recognised global business brands, and not just a miscellany of airlines. £

HNA’s LCC synergies breed U-FLY alliance

In the latest innovative move in the continued China airline growth, HNA Group has built on the synergies within its company portfolio to launch a new low-cost carrier alliance. U-FLY brings together three of the group’s regional businesses in China to established a combined network of 85 destinations across the Asia-Pacific region with a total of 168 city pair options for travellers. Hong Kong-based HK Express is taking a leading role

in the formation of the new grouping which will work to make travel more affordable and accessible than ever before. It will be joined in U-FLY by Kunming-based Lucky Air, Urumqi-based Urumqi Air and Chongqing- based West Air. Others could follow in the future. “With the launch of the first low-cost carrier (LCC)

alliance in the world, we are entering into a new era of travel that speaks to what travellers really want: flexible and affordable routes that are also safe and secure,” says Andrew Cowen, CEO of HK Express and the U-FLY Alliance. “Thanks to the cooperation from the innovative

At a glance: U-FLY alliance airline

members Aircraft (2015) Fleet Development

(2020) Aircraft Type

Destination City Pairs

Passengers (million) Daily Flights

Source: U-FLY Alliance 20 ISSUE 5 ROUTES NEWS 2016

HK Express 13 50


20 20

3.2 64

Lucky Air 28 60

Urumqi Air West Air 6


A319/A320/ 737-800 737

57 78

6.8 124

12 16

1.3 20

20 60

U-FLY Alliance 67


A319/A320 A319/A320/ A321/737

60 64 5.

90 85

168 17.1 298

low-fare airlines, we are able to connect travellers from Asia and Greater China to an ever-increasing network of cities.” There will be an obvious focus on China initially but as other LCCs join, the goal of U-FLY is to develop a pan-Asian offering which provides an expanded network for low-fare travel across the region.

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