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HNA Investment Streak Continues With Azul Airlines

Azul Airlines' largest shareholder will become HNA Group.

HNA Group has committed $2.8 billion in the last month—and it should complete its purchase of Swissport by yearend for another $2.7 billion.

Today it announced plans to invest $450 million in Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras Airlines, which will give it a 23.7% stake—making it the carrier’s largest shareholder.

This investment links two growing aviation markets—China and Brazil.

Azul, which operates 145 aircraft, is Brazil’s third largest carrier and HNA, which operates 561 aircraft, is the fourth largest airline group in China.

HNA is based in the Hainan Province and operates Grand China Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Lucky Air, West Air, Yangtze River Express, my Cargo, Ghana AWA Airlines and Aigle Azur Airline.

HNA’s other big investment occurred on Oct. 21, when the group signed a $2.4 billion deal with Rolls-Royce for Trent 700 engine and maintenance services. The contract covers Trent 700 engines and TotalCare support for 20 Airbus A330s, TotalCare services for the Trent XWB engines that will power 15 A350-900s, and TotalCare support for Trent 700 engines that power five A330 freighters and four A330s.

HNA’s internal MRO operations include HNA Technik and myTechnik, the greenfield MRO launched in 2008 at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport near Istanbul. HNA acquired the MRO in 2010—the same year it established HNA Technik.

Its strategy involves creating a cluster of aviation services—including MRO, ground support, logistics and financial services.

The European Commission approved HNA’s purchase of Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo service provider, last week—so that deal should close soon. 

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