HNA Group Entered into Memoranda of Understanding with Two French Firms Witnessed by Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian

HNA GROUP | 2018-01-09

On January 9, 2018, HNA Group entered into Memoranda of Understanding with Safran Group and Thales Group in Beijing, witnessed by China’s Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan and Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Chao, as well as French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire. HNA Group announced that the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with Thales Group was for the purchase and after-sale service of IFE systems for 59 airliners, and the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Hainan Airlines Holding Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Hainan Airlines”) with Safran Group was for the purchase and long-term thorough maintenance service for engines of 55 airliners. The ceremony was attended by Li Xianhua, HNA Group Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bao Qifa, Executive Director and CEO of Hainan Airlines, Safran Group CEO Philippe Petitcolin and Thales China CEO Laurent Guyot.

In January 8-10, French President Emmanuel Macron paid a state visit to China and he is also the first foreign state head visiting China in 2018. Some experts held that this visit was of great significance for taking over from the past and setting a new course for the future of Sino-French relations, and it helped to promote the development of relationships of China with France and Europe in the new times. In recent years, Sino-French relations maintain a vigorous development momentum with economic and pragmatic cooperation bearing fruitful achievements and cultural and educational exchanges increasingly deepened. In the signing ceremony of the cooperation, many Chinese enterprises reached cooperation agreements with French firms in the field of economy and trade, of which the HNA Group’s cooperation with Safran Group and Thales Group was of special significance.


A photo of Li Xianhua, HNA Group Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, together with French partners

It is told that the 55 LEAP-1A engines signed by HNA Group’s Hainan Airlines with Safran Group would be installed in the A320neo fleet which was to be delivered in 2019. LEAP-1A engines started commercial operation since August 2016, whose fuel efficiency was improved by 15%, carbon dioxide release reduced by 15% and noises and nitrogen oxide emission greatly lowered. By now, the global current fleets with this engine have completed nearly 250,000 aviation cycles and 500,000 aviation hours in total, maintaining Safran’s leading reliability in the industry. Bao Qifa, Executive Director and CEO of Hainan Airlines, said: “Safran Group not only provides us with products of outstanding performance, but also supports Hainan Airlines in developing green aviation. We believe that LEAP-1A engines will continue helping us gain profound development in terms of domestic and intercontinental airlines.”

Bao Qifa, Executive Director and CEO of Hainan Airlines, signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Safran Group

What’s more, HNA Group will introduce 42 A330 airliners and 17 A350 airliners in between 2016 and 2021. As this Memorandum of Understanding was signed, Thales Group will provide them with the latest in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and after-sale service. The advanced AVANT system of Thales Group will provide highly domestic experience and powerful features and application options for HNA Group’s passengers. As is known, this is not the first cooperation between these two companies. The current fleets of HNA Group have been equipped with IFE systems of Thales Group. This cooperation will expand the application to the newly introduced airliners. Thales China CEO Laurent Guyot made an open statement: “We take pride in the successful cooperation with HNA Group and look forward to working with HNA Group to develop innovative solutions for enriching passengers’ experience.”

The first destination of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit in China was the starting point of China’s ancient Silk Road - Xi’an. France is the third largest investment target of China in the European Union and China is even the largest trading partner of France in Asia. This visiting the starting point of the “Belt and Road” is of great significance. As an implementer of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, Hainan Airlines established the airline between Xi’an and Paris as early as 2014, to build a convenient air silk road between the ancient capital Xi’an and the city of arts Paris. In the four years’ operation, it keeps promoting the economic and cultural communication between the two peoples and the construction of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt. As is known, Hainan Airlines have opened over 1,400 domestic and foreign airlines, reaching nearly 110 cities, with waypoints covering all over Asia, and Europe, North America and Oceania. In 2017, it has won the honor of Five-Star Airline rating by Skytrax for consecutive seven times and was listed top 10 of the World's Best Airlines by Skytrax for the first time. This cooperation with the two French firms marks a certain choice for Hainan Airlines as an international brand and more commitment fulfillment of providing passengers with five-star service.

In the eyes of Li Xianhua, HNA Group Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, what HNA Group undertakes is the mission of an air bridge and the commitment to flying for the dreams of global passengers. In recent years, HNA Group seeks for development vigorously, with its airline companies opening intercontinental airlines continuously to strengthen the connection of the Chinese hinterland with the world. At the same time of ascending to be an international brand, it creates star products with competitiveness and added value through continuously innovated product R&D and internationalized communication means to provide five-star quality service for both domestic and foreign passengers.


A photo of Bao Qifa, Executive Director and CEO of Hainan Airlines, and Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce


HNA Group signed with Safran Group and Thales Group witnessed by both Chinese and French government leaders