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Hainan Airlines Eyeing Airbus A330neo Order

Another major widebody order is headed Airbus' way from Asia.

A Hainan Airlines A330-300 in Berlin (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Fabian Behr)

A recent stock filing has suggested that Hainan Airlines is on track to acquire Airbus A330-900neos from Airbus. The company reportedly approved a purchase of 20 sets of kitchen galleys from Safran for A330-900s in a March 29 filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, suggesting that the airline could be purchasing up to 20 of the type in the near future.

Rumored Undisclosed Customer

HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines, was believed to be the undisclosed customer for 40 A330neos firm orders that were previously announced and already in the backlog. The unidentified customer has since halved the order to 20 aircraft in 2022, and there is no confirmation if it is indeed Hainan Airlines.

A Hainan 787 Dreamliner in Los Angeles (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

HNA Group has since gone through significant restructuring after bankruptcy, having gone into trouble even before the pandemic due to shareholder issues. As part of the restructuring, HNA Aviation, which controls all of the airline business of HNA Group, was acquired by Liaoning Fangda Group in late 2021.

Liaoning Fangda Group also made investments in Hong Kong Airlines, which was a part of HNA Group but not a part of the acquisition. Other airlines that were previously a part of the group, such as Tianjin Airlines, have since been acquired or partially taken over by other companies as a part of the restructuring.

Current Widebody Fleet

The airline downsized significantly during the same period of restructuring, retiring its entire relatively new A350 fleet and a number of 787 Dreamliners. The current widebody fleet comprises 38 Dreamliners, with 10 units of the 787-8 variant, the remaining being 787-9s, and 28 Airbus A330s. The carrier has nine A330-200s, but five of them are currently parked.

Hainan Airlines Widebody Fleet in 2024

Aircraft Total Number Average Age
B787-8 10 10.3 Years
B787-9 28 6.5 Years
A330-200 9 13.6 Years
A330-300 20 8.3 Years

Data: planespotter.com

Hainan’s A330-300s, which is the predecessor of the A330-900s, have an average age of 8.3 years. Chinese carriers are home to some of the youngest A330ceos in the world. Its production was discontinued in 2019 in favor of the newer NEO series, which several airlines have ordered to replace their A330s.

The airline has made some significant progress since its bankruptcy and the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited Chinese carriers’ ability to operate international services. At the start of the IATA 2024 summer season, the airline made its return to Seattle and Dublin from Beijing. The airline will also resume Shanghai to Brussels later this year. At the same time, new destinations, such as Cairo, are being launched by the carrier as it expands its footprint once again.

2024 Has Started Well for Airbus

Recent orders from Korean Air for a total of 33 A350s and JAL for A350s and A321s are just the latest victories the airplane manufacturer has scored. Earlier in the year, the airline received orders for 20 A350-1000s from Delta Air Lines, 85 A321neos from American, and 10 A220s from Breeze. It also signed a MoU with Vietjet for 20 A330neos.

Anthony Bang An


  • Anthony Bang An

    Anthony is an airline enthusiast who also loves traveling. He grew up around the world from St. Louis to Singapore and now lives in Amsterdam. He loves long-haul flying and finds peace in the sound of engine cruising. Fresh out of high school, he aspires to be working in the aviation industry and share his passion for the sky. 

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