HNA Group spends another $450 million, buys into Brazil’s Azul Airlines

A European holiday park operator, a Chinese package tours specialist and now a South American airline – China’s HNA Group has had a busy fortnight on the global acquisition trail.

Its latest deal sees the conglomerate become the biggest shareholder in Azul Brazilian Airlines, the third largest carrier in Brazil. It has spent $450 million on a 23.7% stake.

This follows on from recent equity investments and strategic collaborations with Pierre & Vacances and, closer to home,

Both these deals were attributed to HNA Tourism Group, rather than the wider group. However, HNA’s other airlines are included within tourism, so chances are Azul will work as part of the tourism unit as well.

As part of the Azul deal “the companies will cooperate in the development of code sharing, new route development, and expand the loyalty participation programs.”

HNA also mentioned that Brazil and China are important trading partners.

The size of both airlines is worth considering in the context of the code-sharing promise made above. HNA’s various airline brands make it the fourth largest airline in China (and the biggest one in private ownership)  with some 560 aircraft operating  more than 600 domestic and international routes.

Azul meanwhile, has 145 aircraft and operates  more than 900 daily flights to more than 100 destinations, mostly domestic but with some flights to the US. In 2014 it carried more than 20 million passengers.

Side note: HNA have invested in several other airlines outside of China/Hong Kong, including a share in Comair in ZA – owner of the BA Franchise and the Kulula brand, Aigle Azur, and Ghana World.

Related reading from Tnooz:
HNA pumps $500 million into Tuniu
China plc flexes its muscles as HNA buys into another European brand
Plenty of room? Heavyweight-backed, China gets a brand-new online travel agency

NB Image by Shutterstock

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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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  1. Robin

    the Azul deal was via the wider HNA group ,not HNA Tourism. plz clarify.


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