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HNA to streamline its travel services with new $7.5 billion HiApp

01/22/2018| 8:56:05 AM|

All the details about HNA’s HiApp are still not out, but this story makes the case that the company would be wise to offer services across its travel portfolio in one place.

Last fall, HNA Group unveiled it’s $7.5 billion-backed HiApp. However, it wasn’t clear at the time what the app actually did. In its initial announcement, HNA said that the new app will “bring together HNA’s offerings in the hospitality, aviation, and financial sectors.” Now, we have a clearer idea of the app’s purpose as the company is rolling out new membership benefits for users of the app and customers of its various hospitality and travel services.

Users of the app and HNA Hospitality Group’s customers will be able to exchange reward points to take advantage of HiApp’s and HNA Hospitality Group’s membership benefits. HiApp reward points can be used to redeem free room upgrades or free stays at HNA Hospitality Group’s hotels around the world.

While HNA does offer some benefits for customers of both its hospitality offerings and aviation offerings, such as Hainan Airlines, HiApp’s users, for the most part, will still not be able to transfer benefits and points for use on these airlines. However, HNA does provide some cross-promotions between its airline and hospitality offerings, such as Hainan Airlines and its Tangla Brussels hotel.

This latest move seems like a logical next step for the app. When the application was announced, HNA executives touted the usefulness of the app in facilitating travel and the streamlining of services and said that the app will provide “one-stop service” for users. Specifically, they cited the ability of users to transfer their luggage directly from flights to their hotel rooms.

A single, dedicated mobile application seems like the best opportunity for HNA to consolidate its various travel offerings. If the conglomerate’s offerings can compete in price with online travel agencies, HNA could ensure that some of its customers utilize HNA air travel and accommodation at every step of their journeys and cut out online travel agencies (OTAs), potentially boosting profits from sales. It could even open opportunities for HNA to offer more services for its customers, like car rentals and local transportation ticketing.

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