On October 17, HNA Group has officially announced in Beijing the launch of a comprehensive strategic transformation. HNA plans to integrate its businesses in technology, investment, financing, services and other areas and all online and offline resources to reinvent itself as a world-leading operator in the modern service industry. The group unveiled digital tourism platform HiApp in the press conference, marking the beginning of its digital transformation.
HNA is well known for its abundant offline resources in the airline-tourism supply chain. The group holds stakes in 19 airlines that have a combined fleet of more than 760 aircraft. Its sub-group HNA Tourism Group also owns the world's largest airline catering service provider Gategroup, the world's largest airport ground and cargo service provider Swissport, the world's third-largest aircraft leasing company Avolon, and the world's fifth-largest air maintenance company SR Technics.
In the hotel space, its subgroup HNA Hospitality Group has invested in or is operating a number of hotel brands, including Hilton, Radisson and NH, with a total of more than 1.2 million rooms in over 8,000 hotels at home and abroad. In the tourism sector, HNA Tourism Group owns China’s leading outbound tourism brand Caissa Touristic, which operates more than 260 offline stores across China.
In the online tourism business, HNA has become the biggest shareholder in Tuniu after a USD 500 million strategic investment, and has acquired the international online travel company Zuji for AUD 56 million. In the home sharing business, HNA has invested in Belvedor while HNA-Caissa Travel Group has invested in Flight Manager.
In spite of well-established resources in airlines, hotels and travel agencies, HNA has always been in need of an online platform that can effectively aggregate and connect resources across the entire industry chain. HiApp will serve this function as the key element of HNA’s digital transformation. HiApp will go live by the end of 2017.
HNA Group announced it would spend 50 billion yuan to facilitate digital transformation across the entire tourism industry by supplying public service products like "Venture Cloud" for innovative companies and start-ups, and by providing services for innovative enterprises that offer unique services and technical capabilities.