HNA Group Co Ltd announced (23-Oct-2012) 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 CFO. HNA Group board director Adam Tan 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 internationalisation. After the discussion with major shareholders of Aigle Azur, according to HNA, two widebody aircraft 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. Other than Aigle Azur, Africa World Airlines (AWA), which was co-invested by HNA and other shareholders in Ghana, and that launched operations on 21-Sep-2012, is also focusing on developing aviation in West Africa. [more - original PR]
HNA Group: "HNA Group has made internationalisation 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," Company statement, 23-Oct-2012.