Hainan Airlines, a subsidiary of HNA Group, announced that it has completed $450 million investment in Azul to acquire a 23.7% stake in Brazil’s third largest airline, thus becoming its single largest shareholder. In addition, the carrier will appoint three new members to the board of directors.

Adam Tan, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of HNA Group, said: “We look forward to working together to create a seamless travel experience between Latin America and China and to deliver further choice, value and excellence to worldwide travelers through our future cooperation.”

David Neeleman, Founder and CEO of Azul, added: “This $450 million investment, demonstrates that we have a winning business model and that Hainan Airlines, as a large investor, has absolute confidence in Azul’s team.”

Hong Kong-based HNA Aviation Air Catering has increased its stake in Swiss airline catering company Gategroup from 61.7% to 96.1%.

Hainan Airline together with HNA’s member airlines fly over 77 million passengers annually on nearly 700 routes to more than 200 around the world. HNA also has strategic investments in other aviation supply chain businesses, including aircraft leasing (Avolon), cargo, ground handling services (Swissport), catering (gategroup), hotels and travel agency chains.

Azul is the largest airline in Brazil by number of cities served, with a fleet of 136 aircraft, Azul operates approximately one third of the daily departures of the Brazilian aviation market