Chinese group HNA becomes main shareholder of Brazilian airline Azul

25 November 2015

Chinese group HNA, the owner of Hainan Airlines, has established a strategic partnership with Brazilian carrier Azul by purchasing a stake of 23.7 percent for US$450 million, the group said in a statement.

The investment made by the Chinese group, making it the largest single shareholder of the Brazilian company and entitled to two seats on the board, plans to benefit from the substantial increase in passenger traffic between China and Brazil.

The statement added that through this partnership the two airlines would cooperate through code-sharing agreements, new routes as well as the expansion of customer loyalty programmes.

Azul is the largest airline in Brazil in terms of number of cities served, with more than 900 daily flights to over 100 destinations.

The HNA Group, in turn, owns the fourth largest airline in China by fleet size, with 561 aircraft serving over 630 domestic and international destinations.

American entrepreneur David Neeleman, who founded Azul in 2008, partnered Portuguese entrepreneur Humberto Pedrosa, in the Gateway consortium, to acquire 61 percent of Portuguese flagship airline TAP-Portugal, following a partial privatisation of the state airline. (macauhub/BR/PT)