Foreign CarriersNews

HNA Group and Azul Brazilian Airlines announce strategic partnership

The Chinese Group HNA signs agreement to become a shareholder of Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras through investment of 1.7 billion reais a share of 23.7 percent of the airline’s economic value, obtaining the right to sit on the Board of directors.

The investment brings Azul Corporate ratings by more than 7 billion Reais and, according to Azul, makes it the most valuable airline in the Brazilian market.

“This investment will bring significant benefits to Azul in various aspects such as: strengthening of the cash flow; continued fleet renewal plan, improvement of products and services to our customers, in addition to debt repayment,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the founder of Azul, David Neeleman, the investment may cause the Brazilian airline to enter the Asian market through interline agreements and codeshare.

The HNA Group is a conglomerate that operates in the aviation sector, industry, tourism, logistics and finance, with a significant presence in the aircraft financing.

The agreement with the Chinese group occurs after the US United Airlines, the group United Continental, announced in June this year to purchase 5 percent of Azul for $100 million, and after a consortium led by Neeleman win the race to purchase 61 percent of the former Portuguese TAP, which should help the Brazilian airline to gain capillarity.