Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2005 (Revised February 2007)

HNA Group: "A Miracle in Civil Aviation"

by Cynthia A. Montgomery and Carole Winkler


Chen Feng and three others started Hainan Airlines in China during a historic transformation and privatization of the civil aviation industry. From a small loan from the local province in 1992, Chairman Chen built the company into a conglomerate that, by 2003, owned airlines, hotels, airports, travel agencies, an insurance company, and a department store. Despite its many successes, including being the first airline in China to attract foreign capital, the company faces many challenges at both the business and corporate levels. Was the company's increasing breadth a distraction to the airline business or a route to competitive advantage? Going forward, what should be Chen's priorities?

Keywords: Growth Management; Air Transportation; Business Growth and Maturation; Competitive Advantage; Emerging Markets; Business Startups; Air Transportation Industry; China;


Montgomery, Cynthia A., and Carole Winkler. HNA Group: "A Miracle in Civil Aviation". Harvard Business School Case 705-426, May 2005. (Revised February 2007.)