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China’s HAINAN AIRGROUP (HNA )signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BOEING for 38 aircraft, including six 777Fs and thirty-two 787 passenger jets (of which two will be in VIP configuration). All of the jets, including the freighters, will be placed in HNA’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary HONG KONG AIRLINES (HKA).
Until recently, HKA was a relatively small passenger operator, with just six 737s (of which three were classics). But then HNA began adding to HKA’s fleet with 737-800s and A330-200s for passenger operations, plus two A330-200Fs (with up to six more on order) to move HKA into the main-deck freight arena.
The addition of the six777Fs and thirty-two 787s indicates that HNA is serious about challenging CATHAY PACIFIC on its home turf.