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- HNA Development Building, 29 Hixiu Road,
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- Beijing Capital International Airport
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Hainan Airlines is the leading business enterprise in the air transportation division of the HNA Group. The carrier is one of the largest Chinese airlines behind the "big three". Since 1993, in addition to its main base at Haikou Meilan International Airport, Hainan Airlines has established hubs in Beijing, Xi'an, Taiyuan, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Dalian and Shenzhen, as well as an extensive network across China, and connections to Asia, Europe, America and Africa. It has opened nearly 500 domestic and international routes flying to more than 90 cities. The carrier operates both scheduled and charter services.
Location of Hainan Airlines main hub (Beijing Capital International Airport)
Hainan Airlines share price
1,266 total articles
118 total articles
For all their success elsewhere, the Gulf carriers and Turkish Airlines are looking rather thin in China. This is not by their choosing. Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Turkish have reached the limit of air rights and slots made available to them.
All are ready to expand, and Turkish has even said it has service to five cities ready to launch if approved. That is probably of little comfort to China. While the country wants a flourishing aviation market, it also wants its airlines to have a fair share. But this is not classic protectionism. The argument is Chinese carriers are still young and need time to gain experience before being on equal footing with peers.
Yet Etihad and Qatar are younger than China’s long-haul airlines. With a mindset change that favours liberalisation in China being unlikely in the medium term, the foreign carriers will have to find ways to stress their value and why they should receive more air rights. Partnerships are one such answer.
China is planning reform in the world's second-largest airline sector. Where past initiatives focused squarely on volume expansion, the intent this time seems to be around efficient growth. The changes coincide with the Nov-2013 Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which itself is expected to bring significant reform now that the country's new leaders have been elected for about a year.
China's aviation regulator the CAAC has already signalled greater support for low cost carriers, existing and new. LCCs have occupied an undefined space where they are neither prohibited outright nor permitted, but the CAAC has now taken note of their efficiency. Less clear reform areas are the country's one airline-one route policy as well as breaking up technology monopolies, a policy towards government travel, airspace reform and ultimately structural changes in bloated state-owned enterprises.
The challenge is to move airlines along without disrupting the status quo, so full deregulation is understandably off the cards. As a result of reforms, state-owned carriers will likely have to deal with more competition, but they could benefit from other reforms in areas such as technology.
As to be expected – witness the Shanghai Free Trade Zone – goals will be apparent, but details will take some time to work through. But there is little doubt there will be positive - and perhaps even momentous - change.
When North America turns its attention to the international market, it has lately been Turkish Airlines and the Middle East network carriers that capture the public eye. But not to be overlooked are airlines from mainland China. Since mid-2012 China Southern made the first notable upgrade to its Los Angeles route by up-gauging from the 777-200 to A380. Air China has increased Los Angeles and New York services and launched Houston. Hainan Airlines is planning Chicago and now Boston while China Eastern is waiting on new 777-300ERs to double its presence. Further growth comes from Canada too, which in Jul-2013 expanded its air service agreement with China.
This growth is not coincidental. Chinese carriers look favourably at North America more than any other long-haul market. Competition is lower and easing of the visa application process is seeing demand rise. Actual or announced Chinese growth in North America is pale to what is to come. There are challenges: international marketing and perception is weak, and this impacts yields. With time they will get there and change North America-Asia traffic flows as well as alliances and partnerships.
Angola has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years renovating, upgrading and building new airports throughout the country which were damaged during the nation’s destructive 27 year civil war following independence from Portugal in 1975.
The investment is beginning to pay dividends with flag carrier TAAG Angola Airlines increasing capacity by nearly 40% in the past year. But competitor Fly540 Angola is struggling to make headway in a market beset by bureaucratic red tape and corruption.
And despite Angola being one of the world’s strongest performing economies, owing to its vast oil reserves and diamond mining industry, the benefits of the nation’s wealth are yet to flow through to the general population.
Hainan Airlines' first 787s go to Chicago, Seattle & Toronto but Air China gets Beijing's key routes
Originally due to arrive in China in time for the country's 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 787 even missed the 2012 London Olympics. Once the aircraft were finally ready in 2012, Chinese certification lagged and then the 787's battery-induced grounding put a further hold on delivery. But now in sight is an end to the saga and start of commercial service of the 787 in China.
Three operators hold 35 orders: China Southern for 10 787-8s, Hainan Airlines for 10 787-8s as well and Air China for 15 787-9s. Xiamen Airlines has a pending order for six 787-8s. China Southern is due to be the first carrier to take delivery and Hainan the second, but Hainan was first to announce deployment plans, which include domestic services and long-haul flights to Chicago, Seattle and Toronto.
But, as a less privileged, private airline, Hainan Airlines could be constrained by its own government on which routes it can use the full 787 fleet, as the airline faces route restrictions out of Beijing, its main long-haul base – as China Southern painfully experienced when it sought to fly from the capital with its A380.
Privately-owned carrier Xiamen Airlines has regained its position as China's fourth largest airline after a drop in capacity in 2H2012 and early 2013 when measured on available domestic and seat capacity and frequency. This places Xiamen as the world's 27th largest airline by seat capacity – larger than perhaps better-known carriers including KLM, Korean Air and Cathay Pacific. While those carriers eclipse Xiamen when weighing available seat kilometres, Xiamen as the 51st largest on ASKs is still larger than Air New Zealand, Finnair or Vueling.
This strong domestic carrier – 94% of seat capacity is within mainland China – will accelerate growth of its small international footprint by adding services around Southeast Asia following its ascension to SkyTeam in late 2012. But the domestic Chinese market remains its focus, and Xiamen will use many of the 15 737-800s it is receiving this year to grow its presence around its namesake home of Xiamen. Despite the name connection, Xiamen Airlines has more capacity outside of Xiamen than it does to or from the city. In 2013 Xiamen Airlines aims to break the 20 million threshold for annual passengers carrier, and also carry over 200,000 tons of cargo and mail.
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