Hainan Airlines, HNA Group’s flagship carrier, is operating normally and could draw in new investors despite a bankruptcy filing, embezzlement charges and large asset impairments for the carrier last week, some analysts said.
A strong route network, high brand value and an experienced management team as well as restructuring efforts by China’s No. 4 carrier, were among the reasons cited.
HNA units, including the airline, will spend this year negotiating to bring in strategic investors, an HNA Group executive told Reuters.
Chinese financial publication Caixin has also reported strong interest from potential suitors in the airline, although it did not name who they might be. It said that Hainan Airlines, the country’s biggest non state-owned carrier, aimed to remain independent.
Like much of the global airline industry, Hainan Airlines has been reeling amid the coronavirus pandemic but financial woes have compounded its problems.
Its domestic traffic halved last year, steeper than declines of 19.2% to 32.7% for its state-owned rivals.
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