Hainan Airline Group (“HNA Group”) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation with a commercial delegation from the State of Hawaii on November 9. Under the agreement, HNA Group will launch a service between Beijing and Hawaii, the first such service between a city on the Chinese mainland and Hawaii to be offered by a Chinese airline. Hainan Governor Luo Baoming, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and HNA Group Chairman Chen Feng attended the signing ceremony.
The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Cooperation is only a part of a series of signing ceremonies between the two groups. Prior to the signing ceremony, some officials from Hainan Province led by Governor Luo Baoming met with the delegation headed by Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. Mr Luo gives a brief synopsis of the development history of Hainan province and said that the airline serves as a bridge between the island and the rest of the world, paving the way for similar such cooperative efforts. Linda Lingle spoke of the success of the Hainan-based airline. The opening of the Beijing-Hawaii route is very meaningful to the cooperation between Hawaii and Hainan Airlines.
During the meeting with the Hawaii delegation, Chen Feng, Chairman of HNA Group, traced the history of Hainan Airlines in his introductory speech and articulated his high expectations for the cooperation between the two entities. The governor expressed her appreciation for the hospitality shown them by the carrier and said the State of Hawaii expects a further deepening of the cooperation with Hainan Airlines. In addition, the state of Hawaii declared November 9, 2009, ‘Hainan Airlines Day’ and awarded the Certificate of Honor to the airline.
The direct route between Beijing and Hawaii launched by HNA Group is expected to significantly shorten flight time between the two cities, and further enhance tourism between China and the United States. In addition, the cooperation will play a role in developing an international tourism market for Hainan province and in implementing its strategy to establish Hainan as an ‘‘International Tourism Island.’‘
Over forty people were in attendance at the ceremony, including Hainan Governor Luo Baoming, Vice Governor Li Guoliang, Gubernatorial Assistant and Director of Hainan Provincial Tourism Bureau Lu Zhiyuan, Deputy Secretary-General Feng Ming, the Development and Reform Commission deputy director Ye Zhanghe, Foreign Affairs Overseas Chinese Affairs Office deputy director Liu Jin, Hainan Provincial Commerce Department deputy director Wang Keqiang, Xie Yuan, Director of the Division of American and Oceanic Affairs at the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, HNA Group Chairman Chen Feng, Hainan Airlines Vice President Chen Ming, and representatives from the Hainan Province Industry and Information Technology Bureau, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship and the State of Hawaii, as well as members of the news media.