HNA grows into Europe
After years of the European air cargo industry exploring the opportunities available to grow into China, the obvious has happened and China has started to expand towards Europe, with HNA Group taking over - and massively upgrading - the fleet of an established Istanbul-based freighter operator.
Bravia Capital, a private equity investor based in Hong Kong, and China's HNA Group (HNA) have completed the acquisition of Istanbul-based all-cargo carrier ACT Airlines, finalising a move first revealed at the end of July this year (ACW, 1 August, p.1).
A statement issued by Bravia noted that ACT Airlines, which has a fleet of six A300 freighters operating on long-term contracts for a number of world-renowned customers, has been rebranded under the deal and will trade as MyCargo Airlines.
Bravia said the transaction represents the strategic expansion of China's global footprint into the high-growth marketplace of Turkey and surrounding regions, an allows Bravia and HNA to build a cargo platform to capitalise on growing Eurasian cargo traffic.
Created in 2007 as the first air-land-sea and conglomerate logistics company in China, GCL has total assets of over US$7billion and operates a cargo airline with 14 aircraft, eight ocean shipping lines with a total of 100 ships in bulk, tanker and container segments, and two shipyards.
Zhang Youqiang, who has become chairman of MyCargo Airlines, remarked: "We are extremely happy to have made our second investment in Turkey. The country and region is a strategic focus for HNA, and we hope to utilise our investments to develop a full service logistics hub for the surrounding growth regions."
He pointed out: "HNA's flagship airline, Hainan Airlines, has already begun passenger service to Istanbul, and we intend to expand our product offering in developing air cargo, shipping, and tourism businesses in the area.
Yavuz Cizmeci, CEO of MyCargo Airlines, added: "We are in discussions with our customers to expand our business several-fold and we have already increased fleet capacity in order to meet the growing demand."
He observed: "In addition, we have several large-scale initiatives planned to develop operating platforms in Europe and Africa. Finally, this transaction is a key example of the recently reinforced Chinese-Turkish economic relationship, and will provide strength to the region."
In implementing a new business plan, the statement pointed out that Bravia and HNA have financed and delivered two B747-400 freighters to MyCargo Airlines, adding that both aircraft will be operational this year.
The aircraft will be used to renew the existing ACT Airline's fleet and top expand the capacity of the carrier in order to meet customer demand. My Cargo Airlines will operate the medium and large widebody freighters in both of the company's ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) leasing market and network segments.