On the afternoon of December 2, Hainan Airlines Group (HNA) and Chongqing Yufu Asset Management Group (Yufu Group) signed the Agreement on the Strategic Restructuring of West Air in Chongqing. After the restructuring, Yufu Group or its designated enterprise will hold not less than 70% of the shares, becoming the largest shareholder of West Air (WA), with HNA’s professional aviation operation team responsible for the production and operation.
On the signing ceremony, Chen Feng, Chairman of HNA, expressed that this move was a demonstration of HNA’s firm determination to implement the strategic requirement of Focusing on Aviation for Sound Development and also the full recognition of WA’s achievements by CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee and Chongqing Municipal People’s Government.
Since its establishment in 2007, WA has enjoyed annual growth in business performance and a steady improvement in operation quality, with over 2,600 employees and a total asset of RMB 12.5 billion. It has 31 A320 aircraft and 4 A319 aircraft, with 160-odd domestic and international air routes bound for 54 destinations, including Haikou, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Phuket, and Osaka.
WA, one of the best low-cost airlines in China, will further expand its scale of operation after the reshuffle and strive to build it into a base airline with 200 international and domestic air routes in five years, thus supporting Chongqing’s ambition to build itself into an international aviation hub.
From an insider’s view, the strategic reshuffle will help solve the leftover problems of WA and eliminate its liquidity risk. It also facilitates WA strengthening its positioning as a differentiated aviation service provider with Chinese characteristics and seizing the development opportunities, to improve its independent ability of R&D and maintain efficient operation.
With affiliated enterprises such as WA, Air Chang’an, and Lucky Air in West China, HNA can provide a full range of aviation services for Chongqing and other regions by virtue of its airline network combining trunk and branch routes. The Group’s market share in Chongqing has reached 23%, ranking first among all airlines. In days to come, it will introduce wide-body aircraft, which will boost the increasing of Chongqing’s international air routes.