Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has bought a 23.7 per cent stake in Azul Brazilian Airlines for $450m through its subsidiary Hainan Airlines.
First disclosed in November 2015, the acquisition furthers HNA’s investment in overseas airlines, with a pending acquisition for a 13 per cent stake in Virgin Australia for $114m.
It also holds shares in Africa World Airlines, Aigle Azur, Comair and MyCargo Airlines.
HNA also bought an 80 per cent share of Swiss MRO SR Technics last month from Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala.
HNA Group vice-chairman and CEO, Adam Tan, said: “In addition to bringing more choice and convenience to Hainan Airlines’ customers traveling to and from Brazil, we view Azul as a strong and lasting partner for HNA to explore further expansion and capital investment in Latin America.”
Azul, Brazil’s third largest airline, currently operates a fleet of 149 aircraft mostly comprised of Embraer E195s and ATR 72-500/600s.
It also has an order placed at the end of 2014 with Airbus for 35 LEAP-1A-powered A320neo aircraft.