PARIS, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HNA Group Co., Ltd. announced the completion of the acquisition of a 48% equity interest in France's Aigle Azur Transports Aeriens, becoming the second largest shareholder of Aigle Azur, after Go Fast Transport, and the first Chinese aviation enterprise to invest in a European airline.
Under the agreement, Aigle Azur will be governed by the Executive Committee composed of five representatives, two of which will be named by HNA Group. In addition, HNA Group also has the right to assign an executive member to be the vice president and appoint a Deputy Chief Financial Officer.
During the investment ceremony, Mr. Adam Tan, Board Director of HNA Group, said investing in Aigle Azur and cooperating with Go Fast, a large group with a focus on the major industries of logistics, aviation and tourism, is a milestone in HNA's internationalization, demonstrating the success between Chinese and French companies.
After the discussion with major shareholders of Aigle Azur, according to HNA, two wide-body aircrafts have been decided to be introduced by Aigle Azur, while air routes from Paris to Beijing and other destinations will be opened. Aigle Azur will continue to expand routes from France to North and West Africa and other places throughout Africa, integrating resources by utilizing advantages of both parties and building a flight network connecting Asia, Europe and Africa.
Other than Aigle Azur, Africa World Airlines (AWA), which was co-invested by HNA and other shareholders in Ghana, and that made a successful maiden voyage on September 21st in Accra, is also committed to create an aviation hub in West Africa.
HNA Group has made internationalization the top priority of its development in recent years. Taking the aviation industry for example, the Group has invested in Turkey and Hong Kong with business covering passenger transport, cargo transport, maintenance and flight schools. Together with other efforts around the world, the investment in Aigle Azur and the establishment of AWA, as part of the international strategy of HNA Group, will surly enhance the Group's competitiveness.
About Aigle Azur
Aigle Azur, the second largest airline in France, was established in 1946. Based at Paris Orly Airport and Charles de Gaulle Airport, Aigle Azur is operating 12 A320 and 300 scheduled flights per week, with a route network covering Algeria, Mali, Portugal, Russia and Tunisia. Its passenger throughput in 2011 was 1.77 million. In addition to passenger transport, it also provides charter flights, cargo and aircraft wet leases services and was awarded IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification.
About HNA Group
Founded in 2000, HNA Group offers services in air transportation, logistics, financial solutions, tourism, real estate, retailing, airport management and other sectors. By the end of 2011, HNA Group reached USD46 billion of total assets and about USD15.4 billion of total revenue. It provides about 120,000 job opportunities to society.
HNA Aviation, as a core industrial group of HNA, manages HNA's subsidiaries in air transportation related businesses. Now, the company has a total asset of USD18.5 billion, over 270 aircrafts and 500 flight routes to 130 cities.
SOURCE HNA Group