Wide-ranging commercial alliance with HNA Aviation Group.
Virgin Australia has just announced a new agreement with Chinese travel giant HNA which will include wide ranging cooperation including the likely introduction of direct flights between Australia and China. The alliance will cover code-sharing, frequent flyer programs, lounge access and promotion of tourism and business travel.
The strategic commercial alliance will also see HNA invest $159 million in the Virgin Australia group, in the form of a placement of new shares at 30c per share, which will give HNA a shareholding of approximately 13% of VAH.
Virgin Australia ceo John Borghetti said “the Chinese travel market represents Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable inbound travel market…we are pleased to welcome HNA as a new shareholder and strategic alliance partner”.
The agreement will be subject to ACCC authorisation and regulatory approvals from Chinese authorities. Borghetti confirmed that HNA is committed to supporting the outcomes of Virgin Australia’s capital structure review, and intends to increase its shareholding over time to 19.99%.
More details in today’s issue of Travel Daily.