Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Azul) was established by former JetBlue Airways CEO, David Neeleman in Mar-2008, with the Brazilian low-cost carrier commencing operations nine months later in Dec-2008. Azul offers one of the largest domestic networks of any airline in South America, providing over 800 services to more than 100 destinations across Brazil. The carrier is based at Campinas Viracopos Airport with a secondary hub at Belo Horizonte Tancredo Neves International Airport. Azul is privately-owned and in May-2012 announced that it would merge with fellow domestic airline, TRIP. The merger was finalised in May-2014, with the combined carrier holding a 15% share of the domestic travel market. Azul’s fleet comprise of Airbus and Embraer jet and ATR turboprop equipment. Azul will be the launch carrier for the Embraer 195-E2.
In Nov-2015, HNA Group and Azul announced a new strategic partnership under which HNA Group will acquire a 23.7% stake in Azul for USD450 million, aiming to benefit from “substantial” passenger traffic between China and Brazil. Hainan Airlines board approved the proposal, and plans to nominate three members on Azul 14 member board. HNA completed the transaction on 04-Aug-2016, established itself as the single largest shareholder of Azul by economic interest.
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