China’s HNA Group has partnered AirMedia Group to explore the development of in-flight internet services.
Via its subsidiary, HNA Xinhua Culture Holding Group, HNA has formed a new strategic alliance that is intended to lead to the development of a new in-air multimedia platform from member airlines of HNA Group, including Hainan Airlines.
This will include another HNA subsidiary, HNA Technik, providing equipment and satellite services for in-flight internet connectivity aboard HNA’s aircraft. HNA Group currently operates more than 400 aircraft under its various carriers, Hainan Airlines, Grand China Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Lucky Air, West Air, Yangtze River Express, Ghana AWA Airlines, Aigle Azur Airlines.
“We are excited about this strategic development in providing enriching in-flight entertainment to air passengers and expanding our revenue sources. Internet has been an integral part of people’s daily life, even for air travellers on the go. We believe more and more people will have demand and be willing to pay for in-flight internet connectivity so that they can continue to work, communicate with friends or enjoy online entertainment while in the air,” said Herman Guo, chairman and chief executive officer of AirMedia.
According to an online survey of approximately 300 Chinese airline club members, conducted by Sinomonitor, 80.6% of flyers would be willing to pay for in-flight internet.
The group also expects to generate revenue through advertisements on its in-flight entertainment systems, along with sponsorships and e-commerce transactions.
The companies have now formed a joint fund management company for the project, in which AirMedia and HNA will each hold a 50% equity stake.