Hainan Airlines from China is ranked as one of the safest airlines in the world. It has been operational for the last 19 years but has not reported any death or the loss of an aircraft. The airline has been growing fast in the recent years and has been focusing on Europe. It is going to build a five-star hotel in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The airline had been following up with the Belgian authorities for the last two years for the relevant approvals and permits for the project. The groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed hotel was held on Monday.
The project will be put on fast track and will be completed by mid 2013. The budget for the hotel has been fixed at $65.8 million. Zhang Jinsong who manages the European operations of the Hainan Airlines indicated that it is just the beginning of a series of investments they have planned for Europe. However, he declined to give any details of the plans. The airlines has a three star and two four star hotels in Brussels that feature a total of 265 guest rooms. The proposed five star hotel will feature 181 rooms and will be the first five star property in Europe that is exclusively owned by Chinese investors.
Hainan Airlines has already launched direct flights to important Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai from several European cities, namely Budapest, Brussels, Moscow, Zurich and Berlin. It is on the lookout for more opportunities to expand its operations. The Chinese ambassador to Belgium, Liao Liqiang who attended Monday’s ceremony believes that the increasing Chinese investments in Belgium will help create new jobs. The hotel will be constructed by a German company and once the hotel becomes operational it will employ a minimum of 200 people.