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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #661
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...rg-to-beijing/
Quote:
Direct Flight Launched From Yekaterinburg To Beijing

July 8, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

Russian carrier Ural Airlines has launched a new direct flight from Yekaterinburg to Beijing.

Currently there is only one flight on this route each week; however it is reported that Ural Airlines is planning to increase this to two flights a week by the end of 2009. Air China also intends to launch a route from Beijing to Yekaterinburg within this year.

Right before this route was opened, people in the Ural area needed to go to Moscow for direct flights to Beijing, or to take a flight from Yekaterinburg to Tianjin and then transfer to Beijing.

Ural Airlines, the seventh largest airline, in Russia is based in Yekaterinburg, which is the capital of Sverdlovsk region and also Russia's third largest city.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #662
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China Regulator: State Cos Must Report Derivatives Activity
8 July 2009

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China's state assets regulator said Wednesday state-owned enterprises must strengthen controls and regularly submit reports on their financial derivatives transactions.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in a statement all centrally administered state-owned enterprises must submit quarterly reports of all their derivatives transactions and related losses to the commission.

SASAC said it is designing a new form for companies to use in complying with the regulation, which covers futures, options, forward contracts, and other standard or over-the-counter derivatives.

In the last year, several state-owned companies have posted huge losses related to derivatives contracts. China Cosco Holdings Ltd. incurred a floating net loss of CNY4.12 billion on its forward freight agreements as of the end of 2008, and China Eastern Airlines Corp. lost CNY6.2 billion on bad fuel price hedging bets as of Dec. 31.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #663
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China Eastern sees Shanghai Air merger plan next wk-paper

SHANGHAI, July 9 (Reuters) - A detailed proposal for a long-anticipated merger between Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines is expected to be ready next week, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday, citing China Eastern's chairman Liu Shaoyong.

Shares in the two money-losing carriers, which have been grappling with weak air travel demand as China's economy slowed and have been suspended since June 8, are likely to resume trading on Monday, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.

"The merger progresses very smoothly, and there are some inside and outside procedures to work out," the newspaper quoted Liu Shaoyong as saying.

The newspaper said a possible merger agreement would be a share swap between the two airlines.

The shareholders of Shanghai Airlines could exchange one share for 1.3 shares in China Eastern or exercise their cash options, the newspaper said, citing unidentified sources.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #664
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...ight-to-china/
Quote:
Madagascar Opens First Flight To China

July 9, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

Air Madagascar has formally opened the first air route from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, to Guangzhou.

According to Monja Roindefo, the prime minister of the transitional government of Madagascar, the Madagascar-China route is expected to enhance the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

Two flights are scheduled weekly from Antananarivo to Guangzhou. Each Monday and Friday, the flight will depart from Antananarivo at 14:30 local time and arrive at Guangzhou at 9:30 the next morning with stopovers in French Reunion and Bangkok.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #665
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Geneva airport to open Shenzhen air cargo route

GENEVA, July 8 (Reuters) - A new regular air cargo route linking Geneva's Cointrin international airport and China's fast-growing east coast industrial centre of Shenzhen goes into service on Thursday, officials said on Wednesday.

An announcement from Cointrin said the twice-monthly service will be operated by Lufthansa Cargo and the Shenzhen-based Jade Cargo, which is partly owned by the German company and already serves several countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Flying the route will be a Boeing B747-400 with a load capacity of 102 tonnes, the announcement said.

Cointrin officials said the service, which will make Geneva the seventh European city from which Lufthansa Cargo operates a direct route to China, has been opened in response to demand from exporters in western Switzerland and eastern France.

The first cargo to be carried on Thursday's flight will be machines made by a Swiss company based near Geneva for cutting silicon used in the manufacture of solar panel cells, according to the announcement.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #666
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...n-heihe-route/
Quote:
Spring Airlines Will Launch Cheap Fights On Shanghai-Harbin-Heihe Route

July 10, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

From July 15, Spring Airlines will launch cheap flights on the Shanghai-Harbin-Heihe round-trip route.

The new flight will depart from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 9:40 in the morning daily and arrive at Heihe Airport at 14:05 with a 25-minute stopover in Harbin Taiping International Airport from 12:15 to 12:40.

The route will bring great convenience for tourists who want to visit Heihe and Shanghai since currently passengers need to spend one night at Harbin or on the train before they get to Heihe from Shanghai.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #667
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...aiwan-flights/
Quote:
CAAC Announces Details For Taiwan Flights

July 10, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has announced a detailed distribution scheme for scheduled flights between Taiwan and mainland China. Altogether nine passenger airlines and two cargo airlines in the mainland are involved.

For passenger airlines, Air China will run flights to Taoyuan Taipei from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Guiyang. The number of flights each week between Taipei and these mainland cities will be seven, six, four, three, four, two, and one.

China Eastern will operate flights to Taoyuan from Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Qingdao, Kunming, Xi'an, Hefei and Ningbo, and also the Nanchang-Songshan route, with frequencies being ten, four, two, two, two, two, one, five and one weekly.

China Southern will run flights to Taoyuan from Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Dalian, Guilin, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Changsha, Haikou, Shenyang, Zhengzhou, Harbin and Guiyang, and the frequencies will be five, seven, one, one, one, two, two, two, one, two, one, one and one.

Hainan Airlines is to run flights to Taoyuan from Beijing, Guangzhou, Dalian, Haikou, Xi'an and Ningbo. Xiamen Airlines will run flights from Hangzhou and Changsha to Taoyuan, and from Xiamen and Fuzhou to Songshan. Shanghai Airlines will run the Nanjing-Taoyuan, Tianjin-Taoyuan and Shanghai-Songshan routes. Sichuan Airlines will run Kunming-Taoyuan, Chengdu-Songshan and Chongqing-Songshan routes. Shandong Airlines will operate flights from Xiamen, Qingdao and Jinan to Taoyuan. And Shenzhen Airlines will operate flights to Taoyuan from Shenzhen, Shenyang and Zhengzhou.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #668
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...-a380-service/
Quote:
Singapore Airlines Launches Singapore-Hong Kong A380 Service

July 10, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

Singapore Airlines has launched a new service between Singapore and Hong Kong using Airbus A380 superjumbos.

From July 9, 2009 Singapore Airlines will operate a daily service between the two major Asian hubs, using A380 aircraft with a capacity of over 450 passengers in a three-class configuration.

Flight SQ 856 departs from Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 3 at 09:50 and arrives at Hong Kong International Airport at 13:30. The return flight, SQ 861, leaves Hong Kong at 16:00 and lands in Singapore at 19:40.

Singapore Airlines reports that the A380 has proven exceptionally popular with its customers, with high load factors on all the routes it serves. System-wide, Singapore Airlines has flown more than 1.4 million customers on its A380s, which also serve Sydney, London, Tokyo, and Paris.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #669
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Big Three carriers want fuel surcharges revived
10 July 2009
South China Morning Post

The mainland's Big Three airlines have applied for a resumption of fuel surcharges on domestic routes to offset jet fuel price rises totalling almost 1,500 yuan (HK$1,702) per tonne so far this year.

The joint application was filed by China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China last Friday to the National Development and Reform Commission, said Wang Jianjun, managing director of China Southern's finance department.

"The Civil Aviation Administration of China supports the airlines, but the final decision is still down to the NDRC," said Mr Wang, adding that because of the price rises, China Southern faced paying 2.24 billion yuan more for jet fuel in the second half.

Beijing raised the jet fuel price 13 per cent or 460 yuan per tonne in May, followed by a 1,003 yuan per tonne increase last month.

However, surcharges on passengers that could partially offset the fuel bill were scrapped in January, and market watchers said Beijing was concerned that reintroducing them could damp the upswing in passenger demand.

China Southern has been hit hardest of the Big Three, as 80 per cent of its overall oil consumption is generated domestically, while for Air China and China Eastern the figures are 60 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively.

In addition, China Eastern and Air China may be able to benefit from the recent rise in international oil prices through their fuel hedging contracts, while China Southern stopped all fuel hedging last September, according to a Nomura report.

"The major concern for us now is the rise in jet fuel prices," said Mr Wang.

"However, it has been partially offset by the positive impact of the rebound in passenger volume on domestic routes."

He added that July to September was the traditional peak season, and forward bookings for the next two months were good.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #670
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Beijing Airport to list domestically in '09 -paper

SHANGHAI, July 11 (Reuters) - Beijing Capital International Airport , the country's biggest airport operator, has reaffirmed a plan to list shares on the domestic market within the year, a state-run newspaper said on Saturday.

The company "will take advantage of the improved markets and monitor it closely to see when it is appropriate to launch the long-planned domestic initial public offering," chairman Zhang Zhizhong was quoted as saying by the China Daily.

But Zhang declined to give details, the paper said.

The airport handled 30.9 million passengers in the first six months of the year, up 19 percent from a year earlier, and is expected to exceed the 62 million target set for the year, Zhang said.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #671
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China Eastern buys Shanghai Airlines in US$1.3b deal
Tuesday July 14, 2009
> http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...0&sec=business



Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines planes
are seen at Hong Qiao airport in Shanghai. - Reuters


SHANGHAI/HONG KONG: China Eastern Airlines said it will acquire rival Shanghai Airlines, a nine billion yuan deal (US$1.3bil) which will create a newly capitalised carrier with more than half the air business in China’s financial hub.

“The merger is beneficial in the long term as China Eastern’s market share will be greatly enlarged. But in the short-term, money matters continue to be an overhang,” said Linus Yip, strategist with First Shanghai Securities.

“The initial stock reaction seems to have captured most of the positive news in the announcement so in the short term investors will do well to sell the stock,” he said.

Under their plan, each share of Shanghai Airlines would be exchanged for 1.3 China Eastern shares, according to a Shanghai Stock Exchange filing. That ratio equates to a premium of about 17% to Shanghai Airlines last stock price before the trading suspension.

Shanghai Airlines shares would be delisted after the swap.

The broader plan would also see China Eastern raise about seven billion yuan by selling up to 1.35 billion new yuan-denominated A-shares to 10 selected institutions for at least 4.75 yuan each; and as many as 490 million H shares to a related company in Hong Kong for at least HK$1.40 each.

That capital raising would follow another seven billion yuan cash injection from its state-owned parent earlier this month via A- and H-share issues.

“These new funds, plus the integration of rival Shanghai Airlines, effectively relaunches the carrier,” Merrill Lynch wrote in a research note. “It will dominate the Shanghai market and offers an interesting restructuring play for investors.”

The merger between the two loss-making carriers will create an airline that can compete more effectively with domestic rivals Air China and China Southern Airlines.

Merrill Lynch said the deal should help China Eastern’s pricing and profits, but added failure to cut headcount and aircraft means the combined entity is “leaving major cost cutting opportunities untouched.”

Citigroup said the merger would help pricing by ending a price war between the cross-town rivals, immediately boosting China Eastern’s earnings by one billion yuan, and up to as much as three billion yuan.

Shanghai Airlines is the smaller of the two companies, operating a fleet of 66 planes at the end of last year. China Eastern operated 240 planes at that time. – Reuters
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Old July 14th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #672
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...gzhou-to-cebu/
Quote:
First Direct Charter Flight Launched From Guangzhou To Cebu

July 14, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

China Southern Airlines has successfully launched a direct charter flight from Guangzhou in China to Cebu in The Philippines.

This is the first direct flight to Cebu from Guangdong and South China. Before this only Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong had direct flights to Cebu. The charter flight will save Guangdong tourists at least ten hours and 70% of their travel costs.

The vice director of the Philippine Department of Tourism estimated that the route would bring 15,000 Guangdong tourists to Cebu, and will be a major step for The Philippines in exploiting the tourist market in southern China.

The flight is scheduled to depart from Guangzhou twice a week, on each Monday and Thursday, and to return on Tuesday and Friday. GZL International Travel Service is the sole ticket agent for this charter flight.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #673
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BUMPY ROAD AHEAD FOR SHANGHAI CARRIERS
14 July 2009
China Daily

SHANGHAI: Like filial children of traditional Chinese families, China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines have tied the knot at the wishes of their respective parents, who have not only arranged the marriage but also laid down the ground rules for the couple's future.

But as experts and analysts point out the road ahead is bumpy and marked by turbulence with the dark clouds of economic recession hovering on the horizon.

The Hong Kong and Shanghai listed China Eastern, is controlled by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), while the Shanghai-listed Shanghai Airlines is majority owned by the city's municipal government.

The to-be married couple can expect a handsome dowry from their parents in the form of fresh capital infusion to help achieve the ultimate goal of dominating the Shanghai skies. Surprisingly neither airline was deemed fit enough to fill that role on their own.

A strong, dominant and efficient airline is seen essential to Shanghai's long-cherished dream of becoming an international aviation hub that can serve the industrial heartland of East China and the entire Asia-Pacific region. And that is precisely the role envisaged for the carriers by their parents after marriage.

Challenges galore

Judging from the past performances of the two ailing airlines, achieving that goal may prove to be a tough challenge, despite the high hopes and best wishes of their parents.

"Shanghai has always been planning to build an international aviation center," said Chen Jiahai, director, Institute of National Economy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. "To achieve the plan, a dominant local carrier is vital as the current aviation market in the city is highly segmented," he said.

China Eastern holds a 32 percent share of the local aviation market, while Shanghai Airlines has 17 percent. "To support an international aviation hub, the city-based airline should control at least 50 percent of the local market," said Chen. With a combined market share of 49 percent, the merged airline seems to be well on track to achieve its goals.

Beijing-based Air China holds more than 45 percent of the local market share, while Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines has more than 50 percent of the market share in that city.

The Shanghai government, which first broached the idea of the merger way back in 2002, has important short-term consideration to press for the matter now. The cut-throat price competition between the two carriers has led to a deterioration in the quality of services, something that could seriously undermine the Shanghai government's efforts of perfecting its role as the host of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Hesitant couple

The two carriers have been dragging feet on the merger, as they do not perceive any great advantage from it. Being the smaller of the two, Shanghai Airlines was reluctant for a merger, as it would get merged completely into China Eastern.

The debt-ridden China Eastern posted a net loss of 13.93 billion yuan for 2008, in contrast to a 587 million yuan profit a year before.

To be sure, Shanghai Airlines was not exactly in the pink of health either. The carrier said its 2008 losses widened to 1.25 billion yuan, from losses of 435 million yuan in 2007. The carrier saw no particular advantage in merging itself with a sicker rival.

"The management of Shanghai Airlines was mostly opposed to the merger, because they are wary of their company losing its identity after the tie-up. In addition, no one would like to be acquired by a rival with a poorer performance record," said an analyst on condition of anonymity.

China Eastern had also remained lukewarm to the merger because its management, under the newly installed chairman Liu Shaoyong, was busy grappling with the myriad operational and financial problems facing the company.

The carrier said it plans to introduce a revised business model focusing on hub operations and also tackle the huge hedging losses as a result of wrong bets on fuel price movement.

But none of these considerations mattered when the parents of the two carriers reached a consensus on marriage.

Alliance planned

In 2008, the domestic aviation industry saw its fortunes nosedive with combined losses mounting to 28.2 billion yuan, prompting the SASAC to consider a consolidation in the aviation sector.

Around this time, the Shanghai municipal government was also quickening its steps to build a super size local carrier.

Hint of the impending marriage came on March 25, when Fan Hongxi, general manager of Shanghai Airlines and Zhou Xiao'e, his deputy, announced their decision to retire, six months ahead of time. The company did not name their successors, and their posts were temporarily taken over by chairman Zhou. "This was a clear signal that a merger between the two carriers is in the offing," a Shanghai Airlines employee said on conditions of anonymity.

Zhang Xun, analyst, TX Investment Consulting, said the merger of the two carriers is a prelude for Shanghai becoming an international aviation hub. "As early as 2003, the Shanghai municipal government worked out a strategic plan to transform Shanghai into an international air transport hub in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as a key link in the world's aviation map," said Zhang. According to the plan, Shanghai was expected to achieve the goal by 2015 when passenger traffic was slated to touch 110 million passengers a year and cargo flow 7 million tons.

Daunting task

Hit by the global economic downturn, passenger traffic in Shanghai dwindled to 51.12 million in 2008. To achieve the above-mentioned goal, air traffic would have to grow at an average rate of 20 percent a year to reach the projected number of 84 million in 2010. That on paper looks too daunting to achieve in the next two years considering the slow pace of economic recovery.

The only solution within the control of the authorities was to eliminate the perceived domestic problems that inhibit growth. These included fragmentation of the market and undue competition between the two Shanghai-based airlines.

"The segmented market share and intense competition between two city-based carriers disrupted Shanghai government's timetable and hence called for immediate action," said Yao Jun, analyst, China Merchants Securities.

Shanghai's economic planners have also noticed the intense efforts of the out-of-town carriers in their bid to grab market share. Both Air China and China Southern have greatly expanded their presence in Shanghai in the past several years anticipating the increase in passenger traffic in 2010 due to the World Expo.

"Shanghai needs a strong local airline to defend its turf," said Yao. Experts estimate that the World Expo Shanghai 2010 could bring nearly 70 million tourists to Shanghai from other parts of the mainland and abroad.

Preparations for the merger seemed to have reached the finishing stages when Shanghai Airlines announced on June 19 it would raise 1 billion yuan from its third largest shareholder Jinjiang International Holdings in a 222 million new share issue. A few days later, China Eastern also announced a private placement of 7 billion yuan worth of new shares.

"These announcements indicated that the two carriers were trying to raise new capital to strengthen their financial structure before a merger," Li Lei, analyst, CITIC China Securities, said.

Air pockets ahead

A partnership of weaklings isn't going to impress anyone, he said. "Two minuses don't make a plus in the business world."

Sources close to the carriers revealed that China Eastern has hired China International Capital Corporation Ltd (CICC) as its financing consultant for the restructuring, while Shanghai Airlines has roped in Haitong Securities as its financing consultant.

Though the two carriers have all the makings of a promising airline group, the previous purchase experiences have made China Eastern wary. During an industry-wide consolidation in 2002, China Eastern expanded dizzily by taking over Great Wall Airlines, Wuhan Airlines, Yunnan Airlines and Northwest Airlines. However, except the acquisition of Great Wall Airlines, the rest have all been unsuccessful marriages due to bad localized management and overstaffing.

Rival carriers also cast doubts on the "weak-weak" merger. "The consolidation of China Eastern Airlines Corp and Shanghai Airlines might not create a stronger carrier. I don't think putting two weak carriers together would necessarily make a stronger one," said Christopher Pratt, a top executive from Cathay Pacific Airways, after the two carriers set up a task force to proceed with the merger.

"The two carriers' combination is mostly driven by administrative forces. We cannot say such a tie-up would generate great outcome, but the carriers, especially China Eastern should learn how to digest its former rivals' assets," said the anonymous analyst. "If this combination proves successful, we will see more restructuring actions across the aviation sector in following years, including the participation of some international airlines with abundant experience and expertise," he said.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #674
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Bank Of China,Beijing Airport In Up To CNY50B Credit Line Pact
15 July 2009

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Bank of China Ltd. (3988.HK) said Wednesday it signed an agreement to provide a credit line of up to CNY50 billion to Beijing Capital International Airport Co. (0694.HK).

Bank of China said in a statement Beijing Airport, which operates the airport in China's capital, will be able to draw on the credit facility to upgrade the airport and develop new tourism attractions in China.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #675
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...-in-september/
Quote:
Daqing Airport To Open In September

July 16, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

Following consultation with China Southern Airlines, Daqing Airport will open in early September by first serving four routes.

The Daqing-Beijing route will be scheduled with two flights a day, and the Daqing-Shanghai route will be operated once a day with a stopover at Dalian on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; and a stopover at Qingdao on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The Daqing-Hangzhou-Guangzhou route is slated to fly every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and the Daqing-Xi'an-Chengdu route is to fly every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Currently the airport terminal is still under construction and is expected to be finished by the end of July.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #676
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http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/...-dalian-route/
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Tianjin Airlines To Launch Xi'an-Jinan-Dalian Route

July 16, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Category: Industry News

From July 16, Tianjin Airlines will launch a Xi'an-Jinan-Dalian route using E190 aircraft which can accommodate 106 passengers.

Flight GS6437 is scheduled to fly each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11:20 from Xi'an, to reach Jinan at 12:50 and arrive at Dalian at 14:30.

Earlier Tianjin Airlines launched route to Hohhot-Xi'an-Wuhan and Wuhan-Guilin-Haikou with flights scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #677
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http://www.shanghaidaily.com/sp/arti...cle_407740.htm
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Pyongyang to Shanghai flight

2009-7-17 | NEWSPAPER EDITION

NORTH Korea-based Air Koryo will launch a flight from Pyongyang to Shanghai.

When Shanghai tourism officials recently visited North Korea, their counterparts expressed hope that Shanghai could introduce more tours to the country. The first Chinese mainland tour group bound for North Korea set out from Shanghai last month.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 06:51 AM   #678
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AIRLINES TO SLUG IT OUT ON HOME TURF
22 July 2009
China Daily

SHANGHAI: The merger between China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines has brought to the fore the savage dogfight with Air China as they are trampling on each other's supposed home turfs.

As early as February, Air China, the national carrier, quietly promoted its Shanghai office to a full-fledged branch. Industry observers said the carrier may be planning to move at least a part of its international flights to Shanghai from Beijing.

A news report yesterday said Air China had started the process of eventually shifting 80 percent of its international flights to the Shanghai hub to take advantage of the expected increase in overseas visitors to the World Expo next May.

Though busy with the merger, China Eastern has not been keeping quiet. Earlier this month, the Shanghai-based carrier announced that it had upgraded its office in the capital to a branch that would operate its own aircraft fleet and maintain its own pilot team.

According to the carrier's plan, as many as four Airbus A330s would be under the control of the Beijing Branch, and the fleet size would expand to nine by the end of this year.

Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Eastern, said the carrier would raise its Beijing market share from the current 13 percent to 20 percent within five years.

Rao Xinyu, board secretary with Air China, told reporters the carrier would maintain its Shanghai strategy despite the ongoing merger between China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines. Currently, Air China commands 12 percent of the Shanghai market share.

As China's two most important cities and airline hubs, Beijing and Shanghai attract much rivalry from domestic carriers, said Ji Lijun, an analyst with Shanghai Securities.

"Beijing is a traditional city servicing international flights, while Shanghai is an important hub for flights in China, Japan and Southeast Asian countries. All carriers know the two cities' significance," Ji added.

Si Xianmin, president of the Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines, said the new China Eastern would definitely shake China Southern's footing in Shanghai, but may be less influential in other areas.

"Shanghai positions itself as a would-be global financial center and shipping hub, and that would bring about more passenger flight demand. It's wise to secure and expand the market share in Shanghai before it is too late," said an insider from China Southern, who refused to be named.

"China Southern will start focusing more on Shanghai market," he said.

The insider said the current competition involves not only the top three State-owned carriers, but foreign carriers as well. In addition, budget carrier Spring Airlines has cultivated a large group of loyal clients through low-cost flights.

"If we factor in the rivalry of high-speed railways, the competition is even more complicated," he added.

"We will see the three major carriers speed up on their expansion plans in each others' headquarters. But what's important is to guarantee that they will hold market share in their home bases," an analyst said.

Zou Jianjun, a professor with Civil Aviation Management Institute of China, said the newly-merged China Eastern should be wary of its home base.

"Although China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines together hold more than 50 percent of Shanghai's market, they may not secure the percentage after the merger.

"This is because the previous market share was achieved through fierce competition. In addition, after the merger, they may shift part of their capacity to other cities. All these factors may turn negative," Zou warned.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 03:14 PM   #679
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Langzhong Airport Construction to Resume

LANGZHONG, July 21, SinoCast -- Civil Aviation Flight University of China and the government of Langzhong, Sichuan Province, southwest China yesterday entered into a cooperation agreement upon continued construction of the Langzhong Airport.

Presently, the construction resumption plan had been submitted to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The project, with a preliminary budget of CNY 300 million or so, is scheduled to break earth in 2010, once the authority gives its nod, said people familiar with the matter.

Upon the cooperation agreement, the Langzhong Airport will be created as one of Civil Aviation Flight University of China's major flight training bases. In order to be responsible for flight training and regional aviation transportation simultaneously, the airport will be built in accordance with the 4C civil airport technical standards.

As early as August 1992, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved the establishment of the Langzhong Airport, and total budget was estimated at CNY 127.8 million. However, the project was suspended in 2000 due to a series of factors.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #680
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