Wednesday, July 26, 2017

HNA Group eyes further EX-YU growth


China's HNA Group, a sprawling conglomerate with interests in aviation and tourism, has underscored its commitment to pursuing transportation and infrastructure development opportunities in the former Yugoslavia. It comes after the company's CEO, Adam Tan, met with representatives from the Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian governments over the past month. Most recently, Mr Tan held talks with Croatia's President, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, where the two discussed potential investments in the country's airport infrastructure. HNA is believed to be interested in a concession of Osijek Airport. Previously, HNA subsidiary Beijing Capital Airlines planned to commence services between Beijing and Zagreb over the summer, however, the flights were later cancelled. The Chinese Ambassador to Croatia, Hu Zhaoming, said in March that Croatia needed to do more to present its tourist potential to Chinese travellers. "It is important to establish direct flights, as well as simplify and speed up the issuance of visas. In that respect, I would really like for Croatia to approach China in a different way and view it from a different angle".

Mr Tan also held talks with representatives of the Slovenian government, which previously said it expected for flights to China to be established next year after an airline expressed interest to launch services between Xi'an and Ljubljana. Xi'an, in north-eastern China, serves as a hub for HNA subsidiaries Tianjin Airlines and Hainan Airlines, with the latter maintaining an extensive international network from the city. The Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, said, "We expect that direct flights between the Chinese city of Xi'an and our capital city Ljubljana will be established soon. Connectivity with China will enhance bilateral tourism and people-to-people exchange, which is another very important aspect of our cooperation".

In March 2017, HNA Group and the Serbian government entered into a strategic cooperation framework under which HNA Group will work with the government to establish flights between the two countries, build an aviation training center in Serbia, lease and operate airports, and explore other joint investment opportunities. Mr Tan has held talks with Serbian officials on a number of occasions this year and recently attended the inauguration of Serbia's President. HNA is currently bidding for a 25-year concession of Belgrade Airport, with the company's representatives visiting the airport recently to assess its infrastructure prior to submitting a final offer. Last week, Hainan Airlines launched sales for its upcoming flights from Beijing to Belgrade via Prague, which are to commence on September 15.

Commenting on opportunities in the region, Mr Tan said, "As a leader in aviation infrastructure and related sectors with major assets in Europe, including Avolon in aircraft leasing, Swissport and Gategroup in airport and aviation services, and Carlson Rezidor in hotels and tourism, HNA Group provides much of the airport infrastructure in many European airports, working seamlessly with the host governments. HNA is committed to establishing additional partnerships in Central and Eastern Europe as we continue to build out our business in Europe". HNA Group is a global Fortune 500 company focused on tourism, logistics, and financial services. Since its founding in 1993, it has evolved from a regional airline based on Hainan Island in southern China into a global company with approximately 145 billion dollars in assets, more than 90 billion dollars in annual revenues, and an international workforce of 410.000 employees, primarily across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

145 comments:

  1. Is there anything this company doesn't own?

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    1. They are massive. Interesting that their original stakeholder was George Soros but he later withdrew.

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    2. They are massive. Here is a story about them from NBC a couple of days ago.

      http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/25/chinese-conglomerate-hna-group-reveals-ownership-structure.html

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    3. Ha they also own Dufry which is the operator of duty free and other shops at BEG. I think there is no doubt they will win the BEG concession.

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    4. It will probably become the largest company in the world.

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    5. Investing in so many things never turns out well.

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    6. Agree with last anon. Etihad is a good example.

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    7. So many experts here. I'm surprised HNA Group didn't hire you Anon 10.26 to warn them what will turn out well and what not.

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  2. I think there is a lot of potential for China-Ljubljana flights and I'm happy to see things are moving forward.

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    1. Hainan should have flown PEK-BEG-LJU or PEK-LJU-BEG

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    2. Chinese tourists represent a large market potential for Slovenian tourism.

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    3. Hainan was interested few years ago to start PEK-LJU-PRG flights. In the end, BEG got those.

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    4. Would there really be people flying from Xi'an to Ljubljana? I mean it's such an odd city to start flights like this, Beijing would make more sense and give the route more of a chance.

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    5. Actually it is one of the core cities of the Belt and Road initiative and these flights would be for tourists and you can fill flights with those from any city in China.

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    6. Slovenia is a great market for Chinese. Has everything they want to see.

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    7. Xi'an is the tenth largest city in China. It has a population of 12.9 million.

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    8. Okay, people would fly here from Xi'an, but would anyone from here actually fly to a city they never heard before? I suppose buisnes people, but slovenian tourists? I very much doubt so. Bejing, hong kong or shanghai would make sense. This just doesn't

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    9. The city of Xi'An alone has six times the population of Slovenia. Why would they care about Slovenian tourists if they can fill the planes at home?

      But these flights are unlikely to materialise anyway.

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    10. They can fill them at home, can they fill them here?

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  3. If they get Belgrade concession, wouldn't it be a conflict of interest for them to operate Osijek as well?

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    1. Why would it? Unless OSI was to outline that it can't have the same owner as nearby airports.

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    2. I didn't even realize that they wanted to be put up for concession.

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    3. They haven't officially had a tender but they have publicly stated many times that they want to be and they said there is interest from Slovenia and China.

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    4. Actually Osijek makes a lot of sense if they get Belgrade.

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    5. Last anon, would you elaborate? Why would they operate two airports in such close vicinity?

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    6. Getting a concession does not mean they would operate flights there. Development of cargo traffic would, I assume, be the main reason to take this airport. Besides Osijek was a strong cargo airport during Yugoslav times. Also, Purger gave another example below.

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  4. Well they were originally interested to fly to Zadar. I hope they review their plans to Croatia and start flights.

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  5. 410,000 employees :O

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    1. Walmart has 2.1 million ;)

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    2. Haha omg crazy

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    3. Volkswagen has 650.000 ;)

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  6. There are over 1 billion Chinese and 100 million of them travel abroad so there is space for all three airports to be served by Chinese air carriers.

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  7. So far only Serbia has done something concrete in attracting the Chinese, both tourists and businesses

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    1. Abolishing visas was a huge step and sent the right signal to Chinese.

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    2. Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro should do the same.

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  8. I wonder why the croatian government hasnt done more to attract them, with all the potential tourism.. it could be huge for croatia. Sad!

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    1. http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/planeta.300.html:521679-Milanovic-ne-dolazi-u-Beograd

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    2. LOL such a smart move from the 'distinguished' Milanovic. I hope a time will come when Balkan politicians will put national interests first.

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    3. @AnonymousJuly 26, 2017 at 1:05 PM

      Croatia hosted 224000 Chinese visitors in 2016, 127000 from China alone, 98000 from Taiwan.

      2017, Number of Chinese visitors to Croatia is up by 41%!!!!

      This is up on last year's 127000!!! We'll know by year's end how many Chinese visitors visit Croatia, as of now, we expect around 170-180 000 Chinese visitors on Croatia, excluding Taiwan and Hong Kong.

      Number of visitors from other major markets, such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran is also up by around 50%.

      Number of visitors from South Korea, Japan is also up by 20-25%.

      This year Croatia expect officially around 17.5 million visitors. Many guests who visit their "friends" aren't counted as tourist and that number could bring total number of visitors to Croatia to around 18.5 million.

      I think you can rest easy, Croatia is doing just fine. No need to worry, we have everything under control over here.



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    4. Forgot to post the link

      http://www.novilist.hr/Vijesti/Hrvatska/Hrvatska-turisticka-zajednica-U-11-mjeseci-16-6-milijuna-turista-i-90-7-milijuna-nocenja

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  9. Everyone wants flights to China now all of a sudden. Same like last year suddenly everyone wanted flights to the US.

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    1. Sorry but this is completely normal. China is a network growth target for most international airports.

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  10. Wait what? Flights are on sale to BEG... but the experts on here were just last week saying how it will never happen.

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    1. Just a question: I try to look up prices for the new service on HU´s website, on Opodo etc, but it never returns the new flight for booking. What am I doing wrong?

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    2. You have them on momondo. They are also listed on Amadeus. I think Hainan has not finalised the prices. A few days ago they had them on their website selling, then they removed it.

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    3. They first release it on GDS so people can start buying tickets through other companies and then they start on their website. They did the same for their new Tel Aviv flights. Only 2 days ago they put it on their website for sale. Flights start on the 12th of September.

      Looking at the prices for their BEG-PRG-BEG, they are a bit pricey. Around 230 euros.

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    4. It will be interesting to see if JU will codeshare on these flights.

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    5. Probably the majority of the Pax will fly PEK-PRG-PEK anyway- so no big need to sell the short sector in advance too early.

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    6. @ 10.16, Air Serbia's return ticket to Prague costs about the same.

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    7. ^ True. I selected 15th of September to Prague (when Hainan starts) and return a week later with Air Serbia. Lowest economy fare is 221 euros.

      I assume Hainan and Air Serbia have already made a deal and it is just a matter of making it public. They will keep the same prices on Belgrade-Prague sector.

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  11. In my opinion Beijing - Zagreb can work during this summer with 100% LF but this will not be the case during the winter. Beijing - Belgrade won't work without a stopover so linking it with Prague is smart. The Slovenians have the right idea to be used as a stopover to another destination in central Europe but if Zagreb gets flights first, the chances of them receiving their own service goes down significantly.

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    1. BEG will go non stop from summer.

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    2. What is the source for that info Anon 11:30?

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    3. Raaim Ljajic (minister for tourism) said 2 weeks ago. Published by Politika and other Serbian media.

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    4. @AnonymousJuly 26, 2017 at 9:25 AM

      Zagreb is doing fine, no need to rush things. Emirates and Qatar are covering things just fine. If Korean air starts to fly on seasonal basis from next year, that'll be fantastic. Once 300-320 000 Chinese visitors visit Croatia, then yes, we'll need direct link with Beijing. Till then, no need to rush things.

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  12. It's unfortunate that none of the ex-yu national airlines can fly to Beijing

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    1. One can but it is doing everything the opposite from expanding and is letting others take over their market. Then in a year they will say how competition is becoming too big and that is leading to poorer results.

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    2. It's expensive and risky. The infrastructure the Chinese have, in terms of selling packages to Chinese tourists and marketing these flights, can't be compared to what any ex-yu airline could do.

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  13. Maybe this could be a chance for Croatia Airlines to be sold to HNA. I'm sure the Croatian government would be happy to offload OU from its back.

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    1. That would be great for Croatia Airlines.

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    2. The government should be pushing that as much as possible.

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    3. Do they own any airline in Europe?

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    4. Umm which ones?

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    5. 48% in Aigle Azur, 6% in Comair, and they also have a share in The Atlantic Gateway Consortium which owns 61% of TAP Portugal.

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    6. They also own Azul in Brazil and have just bought a stake in Virgin Australia!

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    7. Last anon, they aint european airlines.

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    8. I know, I was just saying which other airlines they own. Anon at 9.50 gave the answer for European airlines.

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    9. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually replaced Etihad as Air Serbia's part owner.

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    10. If HNA gets Belgrade Airport maybe we see some of those airlines listed by Anon 9.50 start flights.

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  14. It is quite normal that Hainan is interested in ex-Yu because they are the official airline of the belt and road initiative and that means launching flights to markets such as this one.

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    1. They had a lot of plans in Germany as well. In the end it was just "hot air"- they never really engaged in any business endeavour although the German government was eager to work with them. Most prominent case was the sale of Frankfurt Hahn Airport.

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    2. The Chinese can be notorious for changing their mind and plans or even not completely seeing a project through especially if the political climate turns against them.

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  15. Can't wait for them to start BEG.

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  16. HNA Group sa svojim kapacitetom i nastojanjem prosirenja biznisa u Evropi, kroz jugoistocni deo kntinenta ucvrscuje poziciju ako preuzme koncesiono upravljanje Beogradskom vazdusnom lukom. Iz tih i slicnih razloga, ova jedna od vodecih vazduhoplovnih korporacija, nece oklevati i najvece investicije za najvece pozicioniranje u Evropi za sada. Ostali Evropski ucesnici u zakupu nece biti presrecni. Ipak, jedino vece ulaganje od HNA grope moglo bi da promeni redosled koncesionara. Sto nije realno.
    Ostaje samo neki mesec do pokazivanja, Ko ce razvijati i eksploatisati aerodrom Nikolu Teslu u iducih cetvrt veka. Jesam daleko od Teslinog aerodroma, ali sam blizu misljenja da ce HNA Grupa razvijati, upravljati i usmeravati glavni aerodrom drzave Srbije.
    Radovan Marinkovic
    Kings Park NSW
    Sydney AUSTRALIA

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  17. I think flights from China to Dubrovnik would make much more sense than Zagreb.

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    1. How exactly? DBV would only cater for tourists. ZAG would be good for tourists and business travel as well. You would also see a lot more Croats travelling from Zagreb to China than from Dubrovnik.

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    2. Zagreb is a good starting point to explore Croatia and the surrounding attractions.

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    3. Yet ANA chose LJU over ZAG

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    4. So?
      Emirates and Qatar chose ZAG.
      What's your point?

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  18. Many here speculates that etihad will withdraw from ASL, hainan will overtake their shares 100% if they do, im certain our government wont let that oppurtunity slip away.

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    1. I don't think Etihad has any plans to leave Air Serbia. It is constantly being listed as one of their most successful investments together with Air Seychelles. But it is certainly a wish for many.

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  19. High time for this region to open up to Chinese investment.

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    1. I would rush into it. The Chinese make up their own rules and change them when they see fit. I have a few very good friends who do business in China all the time and it drives them mad.

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    2. I have worked and done business in 10 countries. The country and people made me mad were China and Croatia.

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  20. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  21. This is interesting to note:

    China invests in Southeastern Europe in order to “circumvent the EU’s anti-dumping regulations and export products directly to a market of some 800 million people”. According to the same article, the Balkans, with their free-trade agreements and strategic positioning, are crucial for the resurrection and extension of the ancient Silk Road which would reduce the time needed for Chinese products to reach Europe.

    Even though China’s grand Balkan scheme is somewhat doubtful, the intensification of Chinese investment in the region speaks to an increasingly growing interest. The best manifestation of this is the “16+1” initiative which started in 2012 and which seeks to improve economic relations between China and 16 European countries, including Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. At the last summit of the “16+1” platform in December 2014 in Belgrade, China promised a $3bn investment fund for Central and Eastern Europe.

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  22. Kolinda with HNA CEO :D

    https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/533819/with_President_of_Croatia.jpg?w=1600

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    1. I write this before and I will write it again. When you have a small market and you want flights from China politics has to be involved. The Serbs did it, and it seems now that the others are waking up. I think there is a lot of potential.

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    2. China is seriously interested in economic and trade cooperation with Croatia. But like the Chinese ambassador to Croatia said, the Croatian government needs to do more and decide what it wants. My guess is that the EU is holding Croatia back when it comes to Chinese investments.

      http://www.jutarnji.hr/biznis/financije-i-trzista/kina-porucila-da-zeli-ulagati-u-projekte-u-hrvatskoj-na-vasoj-je-vladi-da-odluci-sto-zeli/6327250/

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    3. I think Croatia just needs to change its attitude when it comes to China. Chinese know they are a big and powerful country and I think they like to be reminded of this by the smaller countries. Makes them feel important I guess.

      Happens to Australian businesses all the time. You would see one company in the exact same sector having huge successes in China and another having hurdles thrown at them, licence cancelations, board members arrested because they pissed someone off.

      Lots of money to be made from China but you have to play by their rules and you have to be ready for when they decide they want to change those rules and adjust.

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    4. Q400, this is called country risk. That's one of the reason foreign investment in China has declined.

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  23. This is a very murky company in my opinion.

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    1. No need to worry

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    2. Yeah, one of the largest in the world.

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    3. They wouldn't be murky if they were flying to Zagreb.

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    4. Same thing with the comments about EK. National propaganda ;)

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  24. It's a shame that Macedonia and Bosnia have not jumped on this bandwagon.

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    1. I was in Skopje this weekend and was surprised to see a lot Chinese tourists on the streets.

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  25. Hainan Airlines is constantly ranked as one of the best airlines in the world. Any airport should be happy to have them.

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    1. You must be kidding.

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    2. According to skytrax ranked 12th in the world this year as last year! Youre the one whos kidding.

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  26. Alen Šćuric PurgerJuly 26, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    I is practice in business that company which get concession in big city (Belgrade) try to get one i small nearby cities (Osijek). By this way they prevent possible competition especially in LCC.

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  27. I will be happy when a Chinese airline actually touches down in an ex-Yu city. Until then, wishful thinking.

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    1. In the end they will only fly to BEG.

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    2. You will see it in Belgrade in 51 days.

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  28. Fantastic stuff.

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  29. Is HNA group operating with a profit?

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    1. 102.6 million euro profit in 2015.

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    2. Really? That is nothing! Its is a profit margin of less than 1 %. Lufthansa had a profit of nearly 2 billion Euros last year at a turnover of 30 billion.

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  30. Selling infrastructure to Chinese is potential national security matter. They are buying the ports in Piraeus, Darwin, Sri Lanka in exchange for free use of the ports for the Chinese navy. In Asia Pacific region the new Chinese hegemonism is a big threats to many nations. Although mainland China is far away, Europe only sees Chinese economic benefits. We should think twice.

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    1. LOL, that is complete BS.
      NOBODY can bring foreign navy ships in a port if the country doesn't want them.
      Ownership of the port has exactly ZERO to do with it.

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    2. Ignorant. Nobody except CHINA. What is China doing in Philippines, Vietnam and Japan? Chinese are sending navy ships in those countries' water. The ownership makes it easier.

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  31. I'm surprised that there are for example so many Korean and Japanese tourists in Croatia but not that many Chinese. Why?

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    1. Koreans and Japanese do not need an entry visa for Croatia. Chinese need it as for all EU.

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    2. Chinese mainly travels on packaged tour groups. Croatia doesn't have enough hotel capacity to accommodate Chinese group. More than half of Japanese and Korean tourists are FIT.

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    3. @Anon 11:46


      126 000 Chinese visitors in Croatia in 2016, 41% growth this year. Errr, that's not little.

      140-180 000 expected to visit Croatia this year. That is a lot in my book.

      https://www.dzs.hr/Hrv_Eng/publication/2016/04-03-02_01_2016.htm

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  32. Serbia has benefited greatly from its ties with China but only because there was political will for that. Other ex-YU nations will never achieve that level of cooperation simply because of their much closer ties with Western European powers which are skeptical when it comes to the growing Chinese influence in the region.

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  33. Lufthansa would never allow hainan to buy OU haha, kolinda can forget that idea.

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    1. But Lufthansa doesn't own Croatia Airlines. How can they dictate that. Wasn't Garuda interested in OU a couple of years ago?

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    2. They have plans for both adria and OU, they would mever allowe chinese to get market share in crostia and ex yu, they would buy them just so hainan dont get them, we all know croatian government would sell it to germans even if chenese was better option.

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  34. During the first 6 months of this year Serbia had the largest growth in Chinese tourists compared to last year. Interestingly Montenegro was second.

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    1. I assume that most Chinese tourists that come to visit Serbia then go to Montenegro.

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  35. Videla žaba da se konj potkiva pa i ona digla nogu

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    1. +1

      It's ok, the Chinese will always remember who was the first one to open its door for their investment

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    2. Jel'se ova zaba i konj odnose na BEG koji pokusava da dobije letove za Kanadu i Koreju koje ZAG ima?

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    3. Не односи се на то да сада свако жели инвестиције из Кине док су их кулирали током десет година. Србија са друге стране је отворила сваја врата још давне 2007. године.

      Сви медији су преносили о присном односу Србије и Кине током недавног састанка у Риги.

      Нема потребе за хејт, када је у питању однос екс ЈУ и Кине, ту Србије предњачи и нико јој не може ни примирисати.

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    4. Додао бих да Београд већ има директну везу са Њујорком тако да нема потребе да се осврће на остале аеродроме у региону. Управа аеродрома треба да гледа да претекне оне који су испред њих, не они који су очито иза.

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    5. mnogo jaka ova međudržavna patkometrija. 2017ta a vi se i dalje glupirate na isti način i onda autentični srpski heroj ukliza ćirilicom. da se upišaš.

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    6. @12:47 Javi se kad budes mogao da uzmes kartu za i jedan od ta dva charter leta, LOL.

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    7. Петар

      А који је твој проблем? Шта мислиш да си нешто бољи од свих нас осталих? Исто, шта ту смета ако користим ћирилицу? Јел она можда забрањена?

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    8. moj problem je nacionalni šabanizam kojim smarate

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    9. Ако ти смета ти слободно игнориши, не видим у чему је проблем

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    10. Petar Celik, jedna od rijetkih normalnih osoba na ovom forumu.

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    11. Тачно, Петре, убише са тим национал-шабанизмом.
      Ево вам и ћирилицом: досадни сте, људи, баш ме брига шта мислите о Хрватима/Србима, то овде није тема.

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  36. Let's hope some of these developments materialize into some actual investments in Croatia and Slovenia in 2018. As for Serbia, we will know in two months who won the concession.

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  37. Looks like the group is apparently interested in Europe lately. They bought nearly 83% of Hahn Airport in Germany, they applied for BEG concession, even Plovdiv!
    Hold on tight, the Chinese will buy the world soon :) :)

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  38. OT: Emergency this afternoon at BEG, I think a Boeing landed not sure which airline, saw lots of fire trucks and emergency vehicles racing down?

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    1. SunExpress. Indication of smoke in the cabin.

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  39. This article says everything about HNA, with the headline - HNA jumps to No.170 on Global Fortune 500 list amid debt concerns

    http://www.chinatravelnews.com/article/116070

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