left corner left corner
China Daily Website

HNA's first steps in Africa

Updated: 2013-03-15 11:13
By Wang Wen ( China Daily)

HNA's first steps in Africa

Chinese company's investment in Ghana airline may open doors to hotel and property industries

China may be capturing headlines for its investments in oil, hydro and solar resources in Africa, but one Chinese company is making a play for the continent's airline industry.

The HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines (the fourth largest airline in China), is one of four major investors in Africa World Airlines Ltd located in Ghana. It is the first African aviation investment by a Chinese enterprise and its planes recently made their first flights in September.

Along with the HNA Group, the new airline was established with the China-Africa Development Fund, Strategic African Securities and Ghana's Social Security and National Insurance Trust. The joint venture with $50 million in startup capital currently has two aircraft. The airline is based at Kotoca International Airport in Accra and runs 34 flights a week on three domestic routes in Ghana. HNA's first steps in Africa

"Load factors of all the flights are around 80 percent now," said a recent statement from the HNA Group.

The carrier is eventually expected to fly several major West African cities, including Ouagadougou, Abidjan, Lagos and Abuja, but it currently does not plan to run routes to China, according to the HNA Group.

One of the driving forces behind the HNA Group's investments is the high demand for air transport in Ghana and other parts of West Africa. In most parts of Africa, the civil aviation industry is vastly underdeveloped.

Statistics from the International Air Traffic Association show that African airlines had a solid year in 2012 with annual growth at 7.5 percent. But capacity, which reflects the planned total seat capacity airlines expect to offer, only expanded by 7.1 percent.

IATA also said in its report that Africa's economic expansion drove up demand for flights. The economies in Sub-Saharan African countries, the region with the continent's fastest economic growth according to the World Bank, grew by 4.9 percent in 2011.

Ghana is no exception. John Dramani Mahama, president of the Republic of Ghana, says the country's GDP growth for the year 2012 is expected to reach above 8 percent when final estimates are completed, the Ghana Business News reported.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.