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HNA Group's craftsmanship cultivates world-class brand

By Wang Zhuoqiong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-30 10:23

Hainan Airlines, a subsidiary of HNA Group, recently received a Skytrax 2017 World Airline Award, as it was listed as one of the world's top 10 best airlines for the first time.

The award - referred to as the "Oscars of the aviation industry" - is a global-level recognition of the internationalization of the 24-year-old Chinese airline. World Airline& Airport Rating is the global quality ranking program operated by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization. The World Airline Awards are held in high esteem for clarity of process and independence, with no outside sponsorship or external influences.

Hainan Airlines has also been recognized by Skytrax's Five Star Airlines awards seven consecutive times, the only carrier from the Chinese mainland to achieve this.

The private carrier has had international DNA since its establishment. It is not a coincidence that the airline has grown into a global leading brand. According to the company, the achievement resulted from its craftsmanship spirit, which is also the secret to HNA Group's fast development.

Craftsmanship is an important part of the corporation's culture. During HNA Group's 24-year history, the company's spirit of innovation, dedication and purchasing excellence has been promoting the group to grow from a traditional carrier to an international conglomerate, encompassing core divisions of aviation, hospitality, tourism, real estate, retail, finance, logistics, shipbuilding and eco-tech.

HNA Group still has a strong presence in the aviation industry and the group's carriers carry out the craftsmanship spirit in their daily operations.

Shining service

HNA Group has considered continued investment in hardware facilities as the foundation of quality service. In March 2017, Hainan Airlines launched its Prime Wings Lounge at the Terminal 2 of Beijing Capital International Airport. The lounge is designed to meet the demands of domestic and international travelers, with many functional areas such as tea service and sleep zones. With toilets of five-star hotel standards and lie-down sofa beds, the lounge provides top-level services for travelers that are waiting to board.

The natural harmony of the island province of Hainan influenced the design of the lounge. The Oriental-style furniture with coordinating marble mixes the modern Western aesthetics with the traditional aesthetics of the East. There is no luxury decoration, but instead the peace of Eastern philosophy in the lounge.

A decent meal on board has been a pursuit for many travelers. To overcome the pressure and dry air in the plane, Hainan Airlines has worked with Michelin three-star chefs, renowned restaurants and five-star hotel brands to create a fine dining in-flight experience. On international flights out of Manchester in the United Kingdom, Paris, Berlin and Brussels, travelers can enjoy menus designed by Michelin chefs and taste global cuisine with high-quality flavors. On its domestic flights, the airline has collaborated with renowned restaurants and hotels to develop menus with local favors so that travelers on board can enjoy familiar meals among the clouds.

In 2015, Hainan Airlines developed the Hainan Chicken Rice Set. The culinary team undertook hundreds of tests and improved the recipe more than a dozen times to find ingredients that were fit for the passengers in the air. The BBC plans to film a documentary based on the process of creating the Hainan Chicken Rice Set.

Safety priority

In January 2017, the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre - a global source for professional and accurate aviation safety information for the benefit of companies, aviation professionals and individual travelers - rated Hainan Airlines as the world's No 3 player in terms of its safety performance according to the center's Safety Ranking 2017, up from its previous No 5 ranking. Hainan Airlines has flown for 23 consecutive years without an accident and was awarded the Five-Star Award for safe flights by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The achievement is closely related to the airline's safety management system. The idea of "Safety is a lifeline and a top priority for HNA Group" has held true as the company principle. In 2005, the CAAC started to develop the Safety Management System. Hainan Airlines has become the first pilot airline in China to adopt the system. The system, centered on "safety policy, risk management, safety guarantee and safety promotion", has created a well-rounded safety management system and closed-loop management to ensure safety.

Preposing risk management is the key to the safety management, according to Hainan Airlines. It has developed a self-reporting Safety Management System, which is nonpunishing and encourages staff to report loopholes and procedure risks. At present, the system has collected more than 4,000 reports on safety risks from frontline employees, a deep source of data for risk management.

HNA Group's safety management is also reflected in constant innovation in safety technology. In 1999, Hainan Airlines invested heavily to introduce a Quick Access Recorder to raise the practice quality of pilots and supervise their work through data analysis. In 2006, the airline developed a flight data code analysis system after two years of research and tests by the Quick Access Recorder team, breaking the monopoly of international companies in this field.

As the airline with the largest fleet of Boeing 787 planes on the Chinese mainland, the carrier's Quick Access Recorder team developed the 787 QAR (EFAR) decoding software and designed simulating software to track flights in motion on a map. The Quick Access Recorder team has been able to detail nearly 50 key work procedures during each flight to analyze individuals' or the pilot team's practices and apply these features to flight training.

Punctuality based on focus and persistence

Punctuality is always a major issue for the aviation industry. All of HNA Group's airline subsidiaries have put efforts into improving their punctuality rate with their craftsmanship spirit.

According to statistics from Boeing, in the fourth quarter of 2016, Hainan Airlines' 787 fleet achieved 99.62 percent reliability, ranking No 1 among the same type of planes.

In recent years, Hainan Airlines has developed the HORCS system, which is responsible for integrating risk management with technology. After research into more than 200 items related to operations, the HORCS system achieved realtime monitoring and assistance in making decisions. By doing so, it has lowered the risks caused by human error or lack of experience.

In 2017, Tianjin Airlines, another subsidiary of HNA Group, reached an 80.23 percent on-time flight rate, topping the top 10 domestic civil aviation companies, according to the CAAC. In November 2016, the Airplane Operating Control adopted by Tianjin Airline, equipped with the A-Monitor system, has been able to monitor real-time flight altitude, speed and position to achieve personalized or individualized monitoring. The A-Talk system, also created by the airline, has significantly reduced delays thanks to improved communication between flight crew and air traffic controllers.

wangzhuoqiong@chinadaily.com.cn

HNA Group's craftsmanship cultivates world-class brand

Hainan Airlines operates the largest fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft on the Chinese mainland.Photos Provided To China Daily

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