Hainan Airlines received its first Boeing 787-9 on 8th June, becoming China's first operator of both the 787-8 and 787-9 variants of the Dreamliner family. The 787-9 features a fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) compared with the 787-8.
Hainan Airlines, the largest privately owned airline in China, leased the airplane through an agreement with Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The delivery is also the first 787-9 to ALC, which has 15 additional 787-9s on order.
As the largest 787 operator in China, Hainan Airlines already has 10 787-8s in service and plans to deploy its first 787-9 on a new route from Beijing to Las Vegas beginning in September.
Hainan Airlines is the flagship carrier of the HNA group, which has interests in several airlines, including Africa World Airlines, Azul of Brazil and South African carrier Comair. The group is the process of buying a 49.99% stake in Air France’s Servair catering unit and last year acquired full ownership of Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handling services provider.