HNA Group, the Asia Game Changer Diplomacy Champion Partner at Asia Society´s Annual Game Changer Awards, has donated 1,000 airline vouchers to the Asia Society in support of their educational and cultural exchange programs that strengthen partnerships between the United States and China, the company said.
The donation was unveiled in conjunction with a new Game Changer Special Recognition Award, symbolically presented to the species of the Giant Panda in a special ceremony at the Chengdu Panda Base in Western China, recognizing the pivotal role the species has played in US-China diplomacy over the past 45 years.
Since President Nixon´s historic visit to China in 1972, a critical step in relations between the two nations, and China´s subsequent symbolic gift of two Giant Pandas to the US (Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing), the Panda has been a long-reigning diplomatic symbol of peace relations, and increased economic and cultural engagement.
The tickets vouchers are for HNA´s flagship carrier Hainan Airlines, which last week launched direct services between New York´s JFK and the cities of Chongqing and Chengdu, home of the Giant Panda. Tom Nagorski, Asia Society´s Executive Vice President, took Hainan Airline´s maiden flight from JFK to Chengdu and back again when he presented the award to the pandas on October 28th. The award unveiled last night in a special video segment showcasing HNA´s role as ´Diplomacy Champion Partner´.
Each of the routes operate twice weekly on Hainan Airlines´ fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with capacity for over 60,000 passengers per year. The Chongqing-New York will be Hainan Airlines´ longest flight route – roughly 7,573 miles.
HNA Group is a global Fortune 500 company focused on tourism, logistics and financial services. Since its founding in 1993, HNA Group has evolved from a regional airline based on Hainan Island in southern China into a global company with approximately USD 145 billion of assets, over USD 90 billion in annual revenues, and an international workforce of 410,000 employees, primarily across America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.hnagroup.com.