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Old February 18th, 2006, 02:49 AM   #641
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China air traffic to double by 2010 but profits remain low: govt

BEIJING, Feb 14, 2006 (AFP) - China's booming aviation sector is expected to see air traffic double in the next five years although profit margins will remain tight, the government said Tuesday.

Passenger numbers, as well as cargo and mail traffic, will double by 2010 from last year, General Administration of Civil Aviation of China vice minister Gao Feng told reporters.

He said the nation's air industry transported 138 million passengers and 3.035 million tons of freight and mail in 2005.

This represented a 105 percent increase in passenger traffic and an 89 percent rise in freight and mail volumes from 2000 levels.

Gao said, however, that despite growth in the aviation sector's total revenues to 170 billion yuan (21.1 billion dollars) at the end of 2005, profits in the past five years only amounted to 10 billion yuan.

Total fixed asset investment across the sector amounted to 94.7 billion yuan over the past five years, he said.

"It is difficult to have high profitability in an industry where the investment is so big," Gao said.

Despite the sector's huge jump in passenger numbers, Air China is the country's only major airline expected to have turned a profit in 2005.

Two of China's other major airlines -- China Southern and China Eastern -- have already warned of a sharp losses when full-year results are announced in April.

Recent moves to begin liberalising the sector have led to a number of smaller airlines taking to the skies, shaking up an industry that for years did not have to deal with fierce competition.

However China's airlines are still largely beholden to a jet fuel monopoly and price controls.

Jet fuel on average accounts for 40 percent of Chinese costs compared with around 24 percent for airlines worldwide, the International Air Transport Association has said previously.

Although profits might not be huge, Gao said China will need to continue investing heavily in planes and pilots, and that he was comfortable with "slight overcapacity" in the industry.

"Every year during the next five years, we will introduce over 100 planes which means we will need over 1,000 pilots (annually)," Gao said.

His comments came as the China Daily reported that Air China is looking to hire foreign captains and other pilots to meet staff shortages.

"Currently, we are short of at least 40 captains so we will try to recruit foreign pilots," Li Huxiao, a senior Air China staff member, told the newspaper.

"Air China has planned to introduce 20 to 30 airplanes within this year but the exact number will depend on the supply of aircrew members, particularly the pilots."

Although China needs more than 1,000 new pilots a year, its major commercial flight training institute can only produce some 600 pilots a year, the China Daily said.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #642
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1st map on birds around airport drawn
17 February 2006
China Daily

A map of the bird situation around Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, has been completed.

The map is the first of its kind in China, showing the detailed ecological situation of birds around the airport, according to a report of the Beijing-based China Surveying and Mapping News.

Shuangliu International Airport is an aviation transport hub in Southwest China. As the ecological environment of the airport has improved in recent years, many insects and birds have been attracted to the area.

Sichuan Airport Authority Ltd entrusted the Survey and Design Institute of Architecture of Southwest China to conduct a survey on the bird distribution within a radius of 10 kilometers around the airport.

The map shows the kinds of the birds and their length, weight, route of migration, flying height, habits and rank of danger to the airplanes. A database for the birds has also been set up to help protect the airplanes from the interference of flying birds.

Many ornithologists have taken part in drawing the map. And the survey shows that there are more than 60 kinds of birds living around the airport, according to the newspaper.

Statistics show that approximate 10,000 accidents of birds hitting planes are reported around the world every year. Bird strikes have become one of the most hazardous threats to aviation.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #643
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Germany's Fraport in talks to buy 49 pct of China regional airport - report
16 February 2006

SHANGHAI (AFX) - Fraport AG, owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport, is in talks to purchase 49 pct of Xi'an Xianyang international airport, the Shanghai Securities News reported, citing Michael Kunz, Fraport's chief representative for China.

The talks between the two parties are at an advanced stage, and negotiations are now focusing on the deal's details, he said.

However, Yuan Chunguang, an official from Shanxi provincial airport management group, told the newspaper only that Fraport is one of the parties are interested in investing in the airport.

'Two or three strategic investors' may eventually join the purchase, Yuan said.

Yang Ou, another official from the local airport management group, told the newspaper that companies that have expressed interest include Shanghai Hongqiao airport, Shanghai Pudong airport, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Guangzhou Baiyun airport, China Southern Airlines, and Air China.

Xianyang airport does not have many international flights so foreign airlines may not be viable strategic investors, Tang said.

Yang added the final decision will be made by the end of this year.

The local airport currently does not have plans for an IPO, as it reported a net loss for 2004 and 2005.

Last year, Fraport bought a 25 pct stake in Ningbo's Lishe airport in eastern China.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 05:48 PM   #644
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From the Los Angeles Times:
_________________________________________
In China, Low-Fare Flying Is Seriously No-Frills
Spring Airlines, one of several cut-rate Chinese carriers, charges as little as $12.50 a flight. But rules favor the upstarts' state-owned rivals.
By Don Lee
Times Staff Writer

February 19, 2006

SHANGHAI — Spring Airlines gives new meaning to low-fare, no-frills flying.

For a one-way ticket from Shanghai to Qingdao, about the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco, it charges as little as $12.50. You won't get a bag of peanuts on the plane, but 50 cents will get you a pickled duck wing.

And don't plan on packing anything heavy. Passengers are allowed to check bags weighing a total of 33 pounds, about a third of the limit set by most U.S. carriers.

Traveling on Spring makes Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways and other U.S. budget brands seem like luxury carriers.

Since its debut in July, Spring has flown more than 200,000 travelers to 11 Chinese cities on its three, bright-green Airbus jets. The Shanghai-based airline hopes to have 50 planes in five years.

Private, low-cost carriers like Spring have been sprouting in China and across Asia amid fast-rising incomes and a boom in leisure travel. Companies such as Singapore-based Valuair and Malaysia's Air Asia are taking on traditional carriers and making air travel accessible to tens of millions of people.

Nowhere is the opportunity as great as in China. Experts say fewer than 1% of the nation's 1.3 billion people have stepped foot on a plane. Most travel long distance on trains that often are smelly and crowded.

Spring wants to make air travel routine in China.

For some routes, "we're cheaper than the bus or the hard seats on the train," said Spring's chairman, Wang Zhenghua, 61.

The airline has won some converts.

Zhou Jianxin, a 25-year-old recent college graduate, took Spring's flight from Shanghai to Qingdao last month to go home for the Chinese New Year holiday. It was his first time on a plane. He was so excited that he got to the airport three hours before the scheduled departure, only to face a two-hour delay.

Zhou asked for a window seat and frequently peered outside.

"It was so cool," the stocky man with a soldier's haircut said. "It was like riding a roller coaster when the plane was accelerating and taking off."

For years Zhou had gone by train from Shanghai to his home in Shandong Province. As a student, he paid half price, about $6 for a hard seat. But it was a long 24-hour ride. When he flew last month, he didn't get the best fare because of the holiday season. He paid $65 for a one-way ticket. But that was still 50% cheaper than the lowest fare available on other carriers.

"It will be great if Spring Airlines keeps offering cheap tickets," he said. "I don't want to take the train anymore."

Whether Spring Air and its no-frills counterparts can succeed is another story.

In the U.S., aviation deregulation gave rise to budget airlines. In China, where the air-travel market is in its infancy, the rules are more restrictive and tend to favor three state-owned carriers that control more than 90% of flights.

Wang, Spring's chairman, has pored over books on Southwest Airlines' strategy and management, and he'd like nothing more than to duplicate its success.

"To be the Southwest Airlines of China, you can say that," he said.

But it has been a turbulent ride for Wang and his airline.

Few in China's aviation industry are happy to see the arrival of a budget flier. Not travel agents or other middlemen whom Spring would cut out with its online ticket sales. And certainly not the dominant, state-owned carriers that have had it their way for years.

Shortly after Spring's launch, they complained to China's aviation authorities that the upstart carrier had set prices so low that they were in violation of government price controls. That forced Wang to package some flights with hotels to give customers discounted tickets.

Some of Spring's rivals lashed out even harder, halting long-running charter flights for Spring International Travel Services, the tourism company that Wang started 25 years ago, which is supplying $10 million in capital to launch Spring Airlines.

So far, the airline has been running at 95% of capacity, compared with 73% for the industry overall. But Spring also has had some start-up pains.

Its first flight from Shanghai to Wenzhou was scheduled to leave on a November morning. But the Airbus A320 never made it off the ground. The night before, maintenance crews spotted a crack in one of the windows on the used aircraft. With no other aircraft to use for a quick substitution, Spring Airlines canceled the flight, booked passengers on another carrier and covered the full-price fare of $95 a seat for a 50-minute flight.

The move was costly, but Spring gained some goodwill.

Bao Xiuming, a Wenzhou area resident, read about the incident in the paper and decided Spring was worth a try. He travels to Shanghai two or three times a month for his textile and home appliance businesses.

On a January afternoon, Bao, 48, boarded a Spring plane in Wenzhou for Shanghai. Every seat was taken. Four flight attendants passed out the lone frill: a 13-ounce bottle of water for each customer.

It was a white-knuckled, 45-minute flight. The plane was tossed up and down and seemed to be pushed sideways. The cabin was hushed.

Upon touching down at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport, some passengers stood up to get out before the plane came to a complete stop. Bao said he had never been on such a bumpy flight. Still, he was thrilled to pocket the savings.

"I'll probably fly more because it's so cheap," he said.

Spring is targeting businesspeople like Bao. But in today's China, Wang doesn't have the ability to adopt Southwest's model.

The Dallas-based airline reduced hefty airport landing and gate costs by setting up in secondary airports. But China hardly has any such airports. In fact, there are just 140 airports in China, compared with more than 5,700 in the U.S., said Li Yanhua, assistant professor at Civil Aviation University of China.

Spring can't operate on lower labor costs, either. Wang says there is a shortage of pilots in China, so he has had to pay more than the industry average salary of $1,250 a month.

Jet fuel and other material costs are controlled by the central government, which started allowing private airlines to operate only about a year ago.

Li estimates that 80% of an airline's cost in China is beyond the company's control. Nor can Spring count on the government's support on issues involving ticket prices and flight routes. Li says China's aviation authorities have tended to favor the state-owned carriers such as Air China and Chinese Eastern, both of which declined to comment.

Flying each of its airplanes frequently and filling most of their seats won't be enough for Spring to survive, according to analysts, who say it will have to expand its fleet to 20 or more planes. That may take five years, Wang says, and it's unclear how long the airline or its related company can continue to absorb losses. Spring International Travel Services, of which Wang is also chairman, operates 15,000 travel agencies in China and turned a handsome profit of $8.5 million in 2004. But Spring Airlines has been losing on average about $150,000 a month since August.

Some industry executives say China is simply not ready for a budget carrier.

Lan Shili, one of China's richest entrepreneurs, who plans to launch a private airline in May, says Chinese air travelers are mainly businesspeople or government officials who consider flying a luxury. They don't want to be shortchanged on things such as drinks on board, he said.

"As a customer, it doesn't feel good," Lan said, adding that his new company, Wuhan-based East Star Airlines, would aim to offer high-quality service at a competitive price.

Wang agrees that a budget airline may have arrived too soon for Chinese consumers.

At the moment, about 40% of his customers are buying their tickets online. The rest are booking them at travel agencies.

"Many don't trust e-tickets," says Wang Zhicheng, marketing manager at Jinjiang Travel in Shanghai. "They worry about paying for something without getting anything in their hands."

Spring's Wang expects the share of online purchases to grow and hopes Spring's customers will start printing their own tickets.

Until then, Wang is cutting costs where he can. On board, employees have been told to gently discourage passengers from bringing meals to eat onboard or from sharing food with others, to reduce cleanup time.

At Spring's headquarters near Hongqiao Airport, Wang moved out of his large private suite and into a 125-square-foot office that he shares with another executive.

"All the experts and insiders say a budget airline won't succeed in China," Wang said. "But if Western companies can manage it, why can't the Chinese?"
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Old February 20th, 2006, 06:43 AM   #645
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China Regulator Extends Airline Jet Fuel Surcharge
19 February 2006
Copyright (c) 2006, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

The fuel surcharge for flights covering a distance of less than 800 kilometers is CNY20 ($2.47) per passenger, while the surcharge for flights of more than 800 kilometers will be CNY40 per passenger.

This is the second time that China is extending its jet fuel surcharges on domestic routes to offset high fuel costs.

In June 2005, China allowed all local carriers to impose fuel surcharges on domestic routes between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2005.

In November 2005, China extended the timeframe to March 31, 2006.

-Renya Peng contributed to the story
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 04:57 PM   #646
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HK Haeco To Form Hangar Venture At Guangzhou Airport
22 February 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Engineering services company Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. (0044.HK), also known as Haeco, said Wednesday it plans to build a hangar facility at Guangzhou airport in southern China to meet rising demand for aircraft maintenance.

Haeco said in a statement it signed a letter of intent with Guangdong Airport Management Corp. and Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering Co. to establish a joint venture to build the facility at Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport.

The venture, in which Haeco will have a majority stake, plans to finish a feasibility study by September, the statement said.

The project is expected to cost US$50 million, according to initial estimates, said Haeco.

The new hangar facility 'will increase our productivity and enhance our services to satisfy our customers' increasing demand for aircraft maintenance as they plan for long term business developments in China,' said Chan Ping Kit, deputy chairman and chief executive officer of Haeco.

Haeco, which is 27% owned by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) and 32% by Cathay's parent, Swire Pacific Ltd. (0019.HK), provides maintenance services to airports in Hong Kong and the mainland.

Haeco is building a second hangar at Hong Kong International Airport which is expected to come into operation by the end of 2006.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 04:45 PM   #647
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China airlines Lunar New Year passengers up 18.4 pct yr-on-yr
23 February 2006

BEIJING (AFX) - Domestic airlines in China carried 17.6 mln passengers during the Lunar New Year holiday period, which runs from Jan 14 to yesterday, up 18.4 pct year-on-year, the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) said.

The administration said in a statement that the number of flights by mainland carriers totalled 149,172, up 10.6 pct from a year ago.

The average load factor for flights to 52 major cities across the country was 70.2 pct, four percentage points up from a year earlier, said the CAAC.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #648
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Flight cancellation sparks confrontation between passengers and Chinese airline staff
24 February 2006

SHANGHAI, China (AP) - Police in Shanghai were called to break up a fight between passengers and staff of a new budget airline that was prompted by a flight cancellation, newspaper reports and an airline spokesman said Friday.

Spring Airlines had offered passengers either refunds or seats on a later Spring flight, after canceling its 7:40 a.m. flight to the southern coastal city of Xiamen on Thursday due to mechanical problems, said spokesman Zhang Lei.

However, some passengers demanded additional monetary compensation as well and arguments led to passengers screaming obscenities, throwing luggage at airline staff and grabbing at least one worker by the collar, the Oriental Morning Post and other newspapers said.

Police were called in and passengers who opted to board the later flight taken to a hotel to wait, they said. No arrests or serious injuries were reported.

Zhang said Spring's low ticket prices don't include compensation for canceled flights that other Chinese airlines frequently offer, or assistance transferring to other company's flights.

"Our no-frills service has been approved by the government's General Administration of Civil Aviation," Zhang said.

Disputes over ticketing and service are growing along with China's fast expanding aviation market. Passenger numbers doubled in the past five years and are set to double again by 2010, prompting regulators' warnings that it was straining the country's ability to maintain safety and train enough pilots.

Spring launched China's first low-budget flights last year, based on business models pioneered by European carriers Ryanair and EasyJet.

The airline offers tickets at prices several times below competitors, intending to make a profit through high frequency use of its three-plane fleet and by cutting out extras such as in-flight meals.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:41 AM   #649
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Official: China to spend US$17.4 billion on airport infrastructure
28 February 2006

HONG KONG (AP) - China will spend 140 billion Chinese yuan (US$17.4 billion; euro14.7 billion) over the next five years to expand its airport infrastructure to meet a forecast 14 percent annual growth in domestic air traffic, a civil aviation official said Tuesday.

That is sharply higher than the 120 billion yuan (US$14.9 billion; euro12.6 billion) the government spent on airport infrastructure in the fifteen years from 1990 to 2005.

"By 2010, the mainland will have about 186 airports, up from 142 currently," said Gao Hongfeng, vice-minister of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC. Several existing airports will also be expanded to ease the pressure on capacity from rising traffic, he said at an aviation conference in Hong Kong.

Gao also said China's fleet of commercial aircraft will grow to 1,580 by 2010, up from 863 currently, before reaching a total of about 4,000 aircraft by 2020.

The government will continue to expand the country's three largest airports -- Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou -- to help them maintain their role as China's main international air transport hubs for passengers and cargo, he said.

Other airports slated for expansion include those in Shenzhen, Chengdu, Haikou, Hangzhou and Xian, he said.

China's aggressive aviation development plans come as air traffic continues to grow at double-digit rates. In 2005, Chinese airlines carried 138 million passengers, up 15.5 percent from the previous year, and 3.1 million metric tons (3.4 million short tons) of cargo, up 13.8 percent.

The CAAC said it expects passenger and cargo traffic to grow at an average of 14 percent a year until 2010, with growth then slowing to 11 percent annually in the period 2011-2020.

Gao said China is considering to establish a more open and free air transport network with ASEAN countries, which include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 03:56 AM   #650
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great news, can't wait to see the Beijing New terminal!
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 05:05 AM   #651
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13.5b yuan earmarked for phase II of Baiyun
Guangzhou airport aims to handle 40m passengers and 2m tonnes of cargo

2 March 2006
South China Morning Post

Guangzhou will spend 13.5 billion yuan in the next five years to speed up construction of phase II of Baiyun International Airport to enable it to meet its goal of becoming an international passenger and logistics hub, a senior airport official said.

Xian Weixiong, the party secretary of the airport management company, told a news conference that phase II included an international passenger terminal, a third runway that could accommodate the Airbus A380 and a FedEx complex, which was scheduled to be operational in 2008.

"We hope to open 50 new international routes, raise passenger handling by 15 per cent and cargo handling by 30 per cent," Mr Xian said.

"We expect to handle between 38 and 40 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of cargo."

By 2009, the airport, which is only a 30-minute drive from central Guangzhou, will have a subway link.

The airport had targeted opening 44 international flight routes by last year but only managed to start five new routes since it began operations in 2004, taking the total so far to 27.

The old Baiyun airport had worked closely with Hong Kong's airport, serving as a transit hub for international passengers flying to mainland destinations via Hong Kong, which still did not serve many mainland destinations. Mainlanders going overseas tended to fly out of Hong Kong.

Mr Xian said both airports could still complement each other but must put people first in their development plans, which meant making it convenient for air travellers.

"In Guangzhou they have to travel far away to catch a flight, and in Hong Kong they have to go very far away to catch a flight. That's not putting people first," Mr Xian said.

On other plans for better integration with Hong Kong, he said the train journey between Guangzhou and Kowloon would only take one hour by 2010 when a second track was completed.

Mr Xian said it had taken 10 years to build a mass transportation system that some cities had taken 100 years to accomplish.

The plan had received the central government's approval, Mr Xian said.

Only 59km of the system have been built so far. Work will continue on seven lines and, by the end of the year, 116km will have been completed.

The government has prepaid loans taken to build its first two subway lines and was making available 5 billion yuan annually to complete the construction.
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 04:59 PM   #652
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Finnair adds flights to China to meet demand

HELSINKI, March 3 (Reuters) - Finland's national carrier Finnair will add flight frequencies between Helsinki and Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai to meet growing demand, the airline said on Friday.

"The addition of flights to and from our Chinese destinations is a natural part of our Asian strategy and demand is strong," Petteri Kostermaa, head of Finnair's network strategies, said in a statement.

The airline said it would introduce non-stop flights to Hong Kong from mid-May, flying the route three times a week until July, and four times a week thereafter until October. From July, Finnair will also step up its flights to Shanghai to seven times a week from a current five, while weekly flights to Guangzhou will increase to four from the current three.

The launch of an extensive Asian route network has helped Finnair's earnings since 2000, and since then it has reported a loss only for 2003, despite a global slump hitting many of its peers.

Asian traffic generated 20 percent of group sales in 2005, growing 21 percent year-on-year, while European traffic accounted for around half of the group's turnover, growing 11 percent versus 2004.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 06:16 AM   #653
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US airline seeks Shanghai first
4 March 2006
Hong Kong Standard

Continental Airlines, which last year broke a two-decade grip held by two US rivals on nonstop Beijing-to-New York flights, aims to become the first carrier to offer passengers direct Shanghai-to- New York travel, starting next year.

Continental will fly Boeing 777 planes on the route if it receives approval for the flights from Chinese authorities, Mark Erwin, president of the company's Asia-Pacific division, said Friday in Hong Kong.

The direct link between booming Shanghai and the United States will challenge state-owned China Eastern Airlines, which flies passengers nonstop from its home base to Los Angeles.

Airlines are scheduling more direct routes between China and the United States, under a 2004 agreement between the countries, to benefit from the mainland's booming economy, which is growing at an annual rate of about 10 percent.

United Airlines has applied to run daily nonstop flights between Guangzhou and San Francisco, challenging China Southern, which flies to Los Angeles.

American Airlines has applied to fly daily nonstop services between Shanghai and Chicago.

Continental, the world's sixth- largest carrier, last June launched daily nonstop services between Beijing and New York, breaking the 20-year market duopoly of United and Northwest Airlines.

Erwin said the route's load factor had reached the company's target but declined to give details.

China and the United States signed a landmark air transport liberalization pact in 2004 that allows weekly flights between the two countries to increase nearly fivefold, from a limit of 54 weekly roundtrip flights to 249 at the end of six years.

The two countries are to renew bilateral air transport discussions this year after a break in 2005.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of its nonstop Hong Kong-New York service, Continental Airlines is launching a special fare promotion for economy- class roundtrip tickets between Hong Kong and any US destination at HK$5,900. The special fares are valid for travel until May 15.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #654
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China to spend big on airport infrastructure expansion

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BEIJING, China (eTN) -- China's Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) has announced it will spend US$17.4 billion over the next five years on expansion of its airport infrastructure.



"By 2010, the mainland will have about 186 airports, up from 142 currently," said CAAC Vice-Minister Gao Hongfeng. "China's commercial aircraft fleet will grow to 1,580 by 2010, up from 863 currently and by 2020, China will have 4,000 commercial aircraft."

China's three largest airports, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, will be expanded so they can maintain their roles as China's international air passenger and cargo hub. Expansion plans are also slotted for Shenzhen, Chengdu, Haikou, Hangzhou and Xian airports.

Many of the present 170 airports nationwide are old and need to be renovated or replaced with newer terminals. "There are only about 10 airports in China that are profitable, some only in terms of cash flow," said Jim Eckes, from Indoswiss Aviation Consultant. "Overall, Chinese airports have the potential to make money."

In 2004, the CAAC handed over control of 70 airports to local governments and remained a regulator of the industry. "The reform resulted in a better market environment for aviation, allowing fair competition between different airlines," said Li Wei, deputy fleet planning director at Shenzhen Airlines.

In the Pearl River Delta, seen as China's seat of capitalism, airports are competing for passengers. "You see competition for passengers from the ultra-modern airports in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, an interesting airport in Shenzhen, an under-utilized airport in Macau, and a beautiful, but hardly used airport at Zhuhai," added Eckes.

Chinese officials are saying the country is confident enough to embark on a bold aviation development plan given that air traffic has had a double-digit increase. In 2004, passenger numbers rose 38 percent to 120 million. In 2005, Chinese airlines carried 138 million passengers, up 15.5 percent from the previous year. It also carried 3.4 million tons of cargo, up 13.8 percent.

China is also looking to establish a more open and free air transport links within the ASEAN.

From 1990 to 2005, China spent $14.9 billion on airport infrastructure.
Source : TravelVideo
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Old March 14th, 2006, 05:31 AM   #655
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Shanghai Airlines starts using foreign pilots

BEIJING, March 12, 2006 (AFP) - Shanghai Airlines has started hiring foreign pilots to make up for a looming manpower shortage as air transport booms, state media reported Sunday.

The carrier has so far signed contracts with eight foreigners from nations such as the United States and Sweden to fly its MD-11 cargo planes, the Xinhua news agency said.

In recent years, Shanghai Airlines has seen annual growth rates of 30 percent and has been struggling to man its cockpits.

It takes eight to ten years for the company to train a pilot so it is seen as more efficient to hire experienced foreign pilots, according to Xinhua.

Shanghai Airlines' woes also affect other carriers.

Earlier this year flagship carrier Air China said it was planning an overseas recruitment drive since a lack of trained pilots was preventing it from expanding.

China's commercial airlines currently employ about 11,000 pilots but experts have warned the number needs to increase fast.

The Civil Aviation Flight University of China, the nation's major training school for commercial airline pilots, graduates a maximum of 600 pilots a year.

But based on the delivery of new aircraft, industry experts have estimated that China currently needs up to 1,600 new pilots every year.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 05:32 AM   #656
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China Southern Airlines reports 4.2 percent increase in February passenger figures
13 March 2006

HONG KONG (AP) - China Southern Airlines Co., one of China's three biggest carriers, said Monday it carried 3.43 million passengers in February, up 4.2 percent from the same month last year.

The airline, based in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, reported a 21 percent increase in cargo volume to 48,820 metric tons from the same period last year.

The airline didn't give last year's figures for comparison or elaborate on its latest figures, posted on its Web site Monday.

China Southern's passenger load factor -- the number of available seats filled on its flights -- rose to 72.1 percent last month, from 70.4 percent in February 2005.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #657
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Air China reports 12 percent rise in February passenger traffic
14 March 2006

HONG KONG (AP) - Chinese flag carrier Air China Ltd. said Tuesday it recorded a 12 percent on-year rise in passenger traffic in February, down from an 18 percent expansion in January.

The Beijing-based carrier carried 2.15 million passengers last month, down from 2.22 million in January. Cargo traffic rose 26 percent on-year to 53,551 metric tons, compared with 62,512 tons a month earlier. No year-earlier figures were available.

The airline, listed in Hong Kong's stock exchange, didn't elaborate on its latest traffic figures, posted on its Web site Tuesday.

Air China's passenger load factor -- the number of available seats filled on its flights -- rose 0.1 percentage points on-year to 72.2 percent, while its cargo load factor rose 6.7 percentage points to 53.6 percent.

In January, the passenger load factor was 69.5 percent, while the cargo load factor was 51.1 percent.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 05:15 AM   #658
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Rolls-Royce wins 600-mln-dlr deal with China Southern Airlines

LONDON, March 15, 2006 (AFP) - The British aerospace giant Rolls-Royce announced on Wednesday that it would supply China Southern Airlines with jet engines in a deal worth 600.0 million dollars (499.0 million euros).

China Southern has ordered Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power its new fleet of 10 Airbus A330 jets, Rolls said in an official statement. The order also includes a 10-year maintenance and support package.

The carrier, which is based in Guangzhou, southern China, already has four Trent-powered A330s in service, and will take delivery of the new batch of aircraft in 2007 and 2008.

"The Trent 700 is the most powerful engine available on the A330 and its high thrust performance, combined with low cost of ownership, gives us significant operational flexibility and commercial benefits," said China Southern's chairman Liu Shaoyong in a joint statement.

Rolls' civil aerospace chief commercial officer Charles Cuddington added:

"Today's announcement enhances the Trent family's position in the fast-growing Chinese market and underlines the Trent 700's position as the most popular engine for A330 operators."
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Old March 21st, 2006, 05:16 AM   #659
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China Natl Aviation Hldg 05 Pretax Pft CNY2.56B - Source
20 March 2006

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China's three big aviation groups either posted a large drop in profits or wider losses in 2005, an official at the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said Tuesday.

China National Aviation Holding Co. posted pretax profit of CNY2.56 billion last year, down 15% from CNY3 billion in 2004, an official at the CAAC told Dow Jones Newswires. The official declined to be named.

China Eastern Air Holding Co.'s pretax profit last year was CNY173 million, down 87% from CNY1.3 billion in 2004, said the official.

China Southern Air Holding Co. had a pretax loss of CNY726 million, widening from the CNY3.47 million loss in 2004, the source said. [ 21-03-06 0035GMT ]

The three groups, which account for 80% of the aviation industry's total assets, were formed in 2002 after a government restructuring of the industry.

China National Aviation Holding owns 66% of Air China Ltd. (0753.HK), China Eastern Air Holding holds 62% of China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA) and China Southern Air Holding has a 65% stake in China Southern Airlines Co. (ZNH), according to the listed companies' 2004 annual reports.

Last year, airlines grappled with higher fuel prices and increased competition.

China's jet fuel prices surged 25% in 2005, and airline companies were often selling tickets at prices lower than the cost to grab market share.

Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines are China's biggest airlines by transportation volume.

China Eastern Airlines said in January it expects its unaudited net profit in 2005 to be down more than 50% from a year earlier. The company posted net profit of CNY536.34 million in 2004.

China Southern Airlines also warned it may post a loss for 2005 due to surging fuel costs and intensifying competition from domestic rivals.

The three airlines have yet to release their 2005 annual report.

Listed companies in China are required to disclose their 2005 financial results by the end of April.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 01:59 AM   #660
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United Air, Shanghai Air Enter Code-Share Pact
21 March 2006
Dow Jones Newswires

UAL Corp.'s (UAUA) United Airlines and Shanghai Airlines Co. signed a code-share agreement that expands international destination options and frequent-flyer opportunities for customers of both carriers.

The Chicago-based carrier said the 11 code-share flights covered by the deal, pending U.S. government approval, are scheduled to begin on May 15.

As part of the deal, customers from both airlines will be able to accrue and redeem frequent flyer miles and enjoy airport lounges supported by the carriers.
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