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HNA-backed airlines begin paying overdue bills to fuel supplier
[Beijing] Troubled Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co.'s airline businesses have started paying back overdue jet-fuel bills, though they have yet to settle the amount owed in full, a state-owned supplier said.
The supplier, China National Aviation Fuel Group (CNAF), continues to provide fuel to HNA Group's airlines under existing contracts, a spokesman for CNAF said on Friday. Chinese aviation authorities had asked the airlines to pay overdue bills, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said this week.
HNA Group is in the midst of more than US$10 billion in asset sales after a debt-fuelled acquisition spree in the past few years strained its finances. The Haikou, Hainan-based group is said to have targeted 100 billion yuan (S$20.8 billion) in asset disposals by the first half of the year to ease financial pressures.
HNA Group's Hainan Air said on Friday that jet fuel supply from CNAF remains normal, declining to comment further beyond its earlier statement that the airline prioritises passengers' interest and that it maintains safe and stable operations to ensure smooth travel.
Separately, HNA said that a report that it plans to sell its Capital Air unit is untrue.