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Old December 11th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #1561
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China Southern Airlines launches regular flights to enhance Guangxi-ASEAN exchange

NANNING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- China Southern Airlines (ZNH.NYSE; 01055.HK; 600029.SH), China's largest airline by fleet size, has begun operating flights on two routes to strengthen the exchanges between South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and ASEAN.

The airline plans to open Guilin-Nanning-Bangkok route on Tuesday and Guilin-Nanning-Singpore route on Wednesday.

The Guilin-Nanning-Bangkok route will have four flights available every week, respectively on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, while the Guilin-Nanning-Singpore route will have three flights, respectively on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 04:02 AM   #1562
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Old December 16th, 2013, 03:22 PM   #1563
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Old December 26th, 2013, 06:55 AM   #1564
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I didn't see any mention of CZ operating a one off charter to OOL for Lunar Chinese New Year.

Update at 0640GMT 25DEC13

China Southern is to operate charter service on Guangzhou – Gold Coast route for Lunar Chinese New Year, which sees the airline operates A330-300 aircraft on 26/27JAN14.

CZ6041 CAN2240 – 0940+1OOL 333 26JAN14
CZ6042 OOL1200 – 1910CAN 333 27JAN14

http://airlineroute.net/2013/12/25/cz-ool-jan14/
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Old January 15th, 2014, 05:05 AM   #1565
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Chinese airlines in it for the long haul
13 January 2014
China Daily

Carriers attract bigger share of China's travel boom at home and abroad

Chinese air carriers are chasing new horizons as an increasingly competitive domestic market drives them to seek new opportunities abroad.

With the nation's outbound travel set to soar, Chinese airlines are banking on brand recognition to capitalize on the population's increasing appetite to work and travel abroad. As incomes enjoy steady growth, so too do foreign destinations hosting Chinese tourists.

China had the highest number of outbound tourists and amount of overseas spending in the world last year, according to a recent report released by the Tourist Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Ninety-seven million Chinese traveled abroad in 2013, beating the 2012 mark by roughly 14 million, according to the China National Tourism Administration. The number is expected to exceed 100 million this year.

The report said that China's tourists have had the world's strongest purchasing power since 2012. They overtook German and US tourists as the world's biggest-spending travelers in 2012, spending $102 billion overseas, a 40-percent increase from 2011.

Last year, international traffic for China's three big carriers - Air China, China Eastern and China Southern - saw the number of international passengers increase by an average of 20 percent.

To meet demand, Hainan Airlines announced it will start a new nonstop service from Beijing to Boston, Massachusetts, in June.

"Business, leisure and educational travel and trade between the United States and China have been growing dramatically," Liang Pubin, managing director of Hainan Airlines in North America, said at the time of the announcement. "This wonderful new link will stimulate this growth via the important Boston gateway."

The new flight offers access for US visitors to more than 32 Chinese cities via Hainan Airlines' hub in Beijing.

For Boston, it means adding to the 21 million annual tourists to the city - with Chinese the fastest-growing demographic in visitors - as well as bringing business travelers to stimulate the local economy.

Last year, 1.7 million Chinese traveled to the US, an increase of 40 percent on 2012, according to figures from the US Department of State.

The surge in growth of Chinese going to the US is attributed to the US easing its visa policy in 2012 to entice more foreign tourists.

"Boston is the sixth-largest airline passenger market in the US to China and the largest without a nonstop service," says Richard Davey, secretary and chief executive of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

"This new route will help the regional economy, boost tourism and provide a convenient connection for tens of thousands of visitors."

Early last year, Air China, the country's largest airline, was the first Chinese carrier to run direct flights to Geneva from Beijing. It also launched a new Chengdu-Frankfurt service.

As the UK market becomes increasingly important, China Southern Airlines opened its Guangzhou-London route in June 2012, at the time operating three flights a week. This later increased to five flights a week and, in September, started to operate with its new Boeing 787 aircraft.

While domestic travel figures continue to rise, price wars among airlines and the roll-out of the country's high-speed rail network mean companies operate on thin profits to stay competitive.

Furthering competition, the Chinese government has gradually eased regulations on the aviation industry, lifting a six-year ban on the establishment of independent air carriers and giving the green light to two new privately owned airlines.

But even as they seek greener pastures, their relatively late entry into the international travel arena has made it an uphill battle for Chinese airlines, says Andrew Herdman, director-general of the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines.

"Chinese airlines do face competitive disadvantages when they go international - in terms of product, perception, brand awareness, distribution, capability and so on," he says.

"With the growth of incomes in China and the fact that we now have a lot of outbound travel, that plays to the strength of the Chinese airlines because they are brands that are well known to Chinese travelers.

"But historically, long-haul flights to China were inbound-focused and the market source was the EU and America, so the Chinese airlines have had a disadvantage in terms of brand awareness and distribution presence in those source markets."

The increasingly refined tastes of travelers from the Chinese mainland also add to the potential success of new long-haul routes operated by China's airlines.

While global alliance partnerships have ensured that the airlines operate to international standards, most well-to-do Chinese vacationers still opt to go with international brands because they are perceived as more luxurious, says Herdman.

"Sophisticated mainland customers are quite savvy about which brands they choose, as you can tell by the kind of cars they buy and the type of luxury goods they buy," he says.

"When it comes to which hotels they stay in and which airlines they favor, they are well aware they have a choice.

"It puts pressure on the mainland carriers to up their game in terms of product and service internationally."

Regardless of factors at play, enterprising mainland airlines are making headway in the US.

According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, US airlines last year operated 53 percent of the routes between the US and China, a drop of nearly 7 percent from the year before.

Chinese airlines were responsible for the remaining 47 percent.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 05:51 PM   #1566
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Old January 17th, 2014, 09:10 AM   #1567
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Nation's airlines ready for rush
China Daily
Updated: 2014-01-16

As the Spring Festival travel peak begins, Chinese airlines said they are ready to handle the seasonal surge of passengers.

Zhu Mei, spokeswoman for State-owned Air China - the nation's flag carrier - said the airliner will schedule more than 3,000 extra flights, of which 2,900 will be domestic, during the 40-day rush period, which is expected to see 42 million air trips.

Chinese tradition holds that people should return home and spend Spring Festival, the most important Chinese holiday, with their families. This creates an annual travel rush that is the world's largest recurrent human migration. This year's Spring Festival falls on Jan 31.

The company expects to move as many as 170,000 people each day during the travel peak's busiest days.

Zhu said passengers who book tickets through the company's website, smartphone applications or e-commerce platforms such as Taobao will receive bigger discounts than they could get from ticket agencies - a policy that encourages passengers to book their flights earlier.

"The sooner our passengers book their tickets, the easier it will be for us to arrange our flight schedules and optimize the efficiency of our operation, thus reducing the delay rate," she said.

"In order to strengthen our on-time performance, we will improve our weather forecasts and monitor of flight operations."

Wen Zhidong, an Air China senior manager responsible for flight schedules, said that most passengers who take domestic flights before Spring Festival will be from prosperous coastal regions such as the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines plans to add 4,765 flights during the travel rush in a bid to meet demand.

Zou Ling, the airline's senior manager in charge of marketing and sales, said that to date, "more than 2,000 domestic flights have been added nationwide, and as many as 3,357 flights from both home and abroad have already been put in place for the rush".

For passengers who fail to buy a direct train or air ticket home, the company will provide connection services such as "air plus train" or "air plus long-distance bus" to facilitate their journeys.

"The company will book and pay for the high-speed train ticket or bus fare if passengers flying with China Eastern go to cities near Shanghai or Hubei province's Wuhan," said Fang Haodong, deputy director of the company's marketing department.

"About 60,000 people benefited from this policy in 2013, and we can provide up to 1,400 passengers free train tickets every day during this year's travel rush."

China Southern Airlines, based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, will add 376 extra flights to 27 routes during this year's travel peak, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

These added flights will mainly serve links between populous cities on the mainland and major Asian tourist destinations, it said, adding that 84 flights will be added between Guangzhou and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Xia Xinghua, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said at a news conference on Tuesday that Chinese airlines will provide at least 1.1 million seats every day to meet the travel peak.

The administration estimated that domestic flights will increase to more than 62,000 every week from the current 50,000, while international flights will increase 20 percent to more than 9,600 weekly.

Xia said the most popular destinations will be tourist cities like Sanya, Hainan province, and cities with large numbers of migrant workers, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Neighboring countries with many tourist attractions, like Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia, will also be popular during the spring rush, Xia added.

He urged airlines to get ready for potential extreme weather conditions, especially heavy fog and snow, and to release any information regarding changed schedules as quickly as possible.
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Old January 17th, 2014, 11:37 AM   #1568
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Air China will fly to Barcelona and Vienna from May 5th

According to airliners.net :

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...=BCN#ID5972063

PEK-VIE-BCN form May 5th
CA841 0210-0610 0740-0940 1/3/4/7 A333
CA842 1140-1340 1520-0620+1 1/3/4/7 A333
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Old January 29th, 2014, 05:04 AM   #1569
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Old January 29th, 2014, 11:18 AM   #1570
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[IMG]http://i60.************/1y4ujc.jpg[/IMG]
http://www.airliners.net/photo/China...7424a60432fc7f
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Old February 6th, 2014, 07:27 PM   #1571
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Old February 8th, 2014, 05:37 PM   #1572
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Air trips up 20 pct during Spring Festival

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese passengers made 7.69 million trips by air during the week-long Spring Festival, up 19.8 percent from last year's holiday, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Friday.

The number of tourists who took flights hit a peak of 1.26 million on Thursday, the last day of the holiday, said Xia Xinghua, deputy head of the CAAC.

On average, 66 percent of seats on flights across the country were occupied during the holiday, up 2 percentage points from the corresponding period last year, said Xia.

The Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, is traditionally a time for family reunions across the nation.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 11:22 AM   #1573
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Air China upgrades carrier
12 February 2014
China Daily

Air China announced on Tuesday that it would start using a Boeing 777-300 ER - the same carrier it has been using for its other US destinations such as New York, Houston and Los Angeles - to fly its Beijing-San Francisco route starting Feb 11.

A group of 218 passengers from Beijing, on the 11-hour maiden flight with the new carrier, landed at SFO at 11:20 am. The same flight would depart for China in about four hours with its 311 seats fully booked.

"This is a significant moment in the history of Air China," said Chi Zhihang, Air China's vice-president and North American General Manager.

"What happens in San Francisco signifies that we've accomplished a full-swing upgrade in our aircraft," Chi said at a welcoming ceremony held at the airport.

To date, Air China operates all its US destinations, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston, with B777-300 ER. "Our introduction of this state-of-the-art aircraft for our long-haul operations provides passengers an optimal flying experience," Chi added.

The continuing rise in exchanges between the US and China has contributed to brisk business for the aviation industries, said Song Ruan, deputy consul general at the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco.

"We've seen a sharp growth in bilateral exchanges in all aspects, such as education, travel, business and trade. Two-way trade has reported a record high of half a trillion US dollars last year, the number was $2.45 billion in 1979," said Song.

Citing people-to-people exchanges between the two nations as another example, Song said there are roughly 235,000 Chinese students studying in the US and China hosts around 44,000 American students. "Are these people traveling by boats?" he asked.

"No, they travel by airplanes," he said.

Airliners like Air China play important roles in transporting people and helping facilitate the two-way communications, he added. "Air China has been a witness to the development of the China-US relationship," said Song, adding this year marked the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between China and the US.

"I believe Air China will be a top choice for US and Chinese travelers with the upgrade to the Boeing 777-300 ER," said Song. "This will open a new chapter not only in Air China's history, but the friendship notes between San Francisco and Beijing."

In addition to its higher fuel-efficiency and more operational reliability, the Boeing 777-300 ER features the best cabin interior design in Air China's history, said Zhao Litao, general manager of Air China's San Francisco office.

Chi said 2014 will be another year bombarded with marketing and sales events for his company, as Air China has set up an ambitious roadmap for its US market growth.

On Jan 2, Air China launched its first nonstop flight from Beijing to Honolulu, exclusively focused on tourism. Operating three times a week, Air China is projected by the Hawaii Tourism Authority to be able to bring roughly $80.4 billion in annual visitor expenditure and $8.6 million in state tax revenue.

In addition, Air China will increase in frequency its Houston-Beijing direct route from four times a week to daily starting March 30.

"We've been walking a long way," said Chi, citing Air China's humble early years as the government aviation agency. Now as a publicly traded company listed in Hong Kong, London and New York and a member of the Star Alliance, "Air China has still not arrived at all its destinations yet," said Chi.

Air China will continue its expansion and product upgrades in other cities in North America this year, according to Chi. By the end of March, Air China will increase its direct New York-Beijing service from 11 per week to two flights per day. In June, it will launch a Washington DC-Beijing direct flight. "In total, we are going to operate 60 weekly flights to seven destinations," he said.
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Old February 13th, 2014, 01:44 PM   #1574
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Old February 15th, 2014, 06:07 AM   #1575
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Budget airlines to soar as limits lifted
14 February 2014
China Daily

New civil aviation rules present a golden opportunity for low-cost carriers to expand in China

China is likely to see a boom in budget airlines following a decision by the Civil Aviation Administration to ease regulations.

The administration released a notice to cancel limits on the lowest price, which means airlines can provide more discounts. The largest discount for air tickets had been 45 percent, under the former regulations.

Meanwhile, the administration is encouraging main Chinese carriers and private capital investors to put money into budget airlines.

The civil aviation authority also is working on policies to support the growth of budget airlines, including airplane purchases and route allocations, Xia Xinghua, deputy director of the administration, said at a seminar on budget aviation.

Airplane purchases, route applications and jet fuel prices are the main obstacles facing Chinese low-cost airlines.

The authority is also considering developing standards for budget airlines because there is no official definition for them in China.

Features of budget airlines globally include cheaper tickets, higher income from non-flight business and lower operational costs.

Only two Chinese airlines are low-cost carriers at the moment: Shanghai-based Spring Airlines Co Ltd and Chongqing-based West Air Co Ltd.

"Changing the lowest price is definitely good news for privately owned airlines," says Wang Zhenghua, chairman of Spring Airlines, the largest budget carrier in China.

Spring Airlines was fined by the local pricing bureau in Jinan, Shandong province, in 2006 because it provided some tickets at 1 yuan on its Shanghai-Jinan route. The price violated the Civil Aviation Administration of China's former regulations. The carrier withdrew from the route.

"According to the new rules, tickets costing only 1 yuan will not be forbidden anymore," Wang says.

The budget airline also noticed it is now much easier to purchase new aircraft.

Wang says it used to take four to five months for Spring Airlines to apply to buy a new aircraft but the period has been shortened dramatically.

Spring Airlines plans to enlarge its fleet by 40 aircraft by 2015. It already has 39 airplanes, and its fleet will total 46 aircraft by the end of this year.

"We still plan to purchase eight to 10 aircraft every year," Wang says.

West Air, a subsidiary of HNA Group, which completed its transformation to a budget airline at the end of 2012, also plans to increase its fleet. It will add four aircraft in 2014.

Some other airlines are also trying to turn into budget airlines because of the business opportunities they present.

China United Airlines Co Ltd, a Beijing-based subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines Co, is working on a plan to turn into a low-cost carrier.

Juneyao Airlines Co Ltd, a privately owned carrier, also applied to launch a low-cost carrier called Jiuyuan Airlines. It means the airline will provide special tickets priced between 9 to 49 yuan at certain times.

"We can expect more budget airlines in China because the authority's support may make it easier to enter the business," says Li Xiaojin, a professor at China Aviation University in Tianjin.

The Chinese are getting used to traveling by air, with air traffic growing fast and providing more customers to budget airlines, he adds.

Chinese airlines reported 319.36 million person-trips in 2012. The number reached 326.1 million in the first 11 months of 2013, according to the CAA.

But it is still difficult to operate budget airlines, which need to lower their costs and improve load factors at the same time, Li says.

"Low-cost airlines need enough passenger flow to make a profit because their ticket price is low."

Improving efficiency is the main strategy for budget airlines to lower operational costs.

West Air's overall costs in 2013 were reduced 15 percent over 2012 through improving plane-use rates and upgrading operational systems.

The daily use rate of an airplane by West Air is about 12 to 13 hours, while the average number in the industry is about 9.8 hours a day, says Liu Feihu, control manager of the carrier's operations center.

"Reducing the ground handling time is an important way to improve the use-rate," he adds.

The carrier, which uses the 13 Airbus 320 family aircraft, runs more than 70 domestic flights daily.

Accordingly, the airline's ticket price is about 15 percent lower than the market average.

The carrier provided more than 10,000 tickets with 70 to 90 percent discounts. Some tickets were only priced at 8 yuan in November 2013.

After the transformation from being a traditional airline into a low-cost airline, West Air's flights load factor also increased by 5 percent, reaching 90 percent.

However, low-cost carriers still have to cultivate the market before they can gain more market share.

"People's acceptance of budget airlines is still a challenge for us," says Cen Jianjun, vice-president of West Air.

As a low-cost airline, West Air still provides in-flight food and a free luggage check-in service, which incur fees at other budget airlines, Cen says.

Chinese budget airlines also need to increase income from non-flight business, which is a common strategy among low-cost airlines.

Income from non-flight business accounted for only 3 percent of West Air's total income in 2013, while the percentage for Air Asia was about 20 percent.

Currently, West Air's non-flight business includes insurance, hotel booking, tourism and vehicle rental.

The carrier plans to increase income from non-flight business to 5 percent in 2014 by offering extra services.

"We will provide full travel services in the future," says Xiao Lin, general manager of the carrier's marketing and sales department.

It is an advantage for the carrier that its parent group has other tourism subsidiaries covering hotels, travel agencies and tourism destinations.

"It is easier for us to cooperate," Xiao adds.
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Old February 16th, 2014, 03:03 PM   #1576
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Old February 17th, 2014, 04:53 PM   #1577
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Old February 18th, 2014, 08:55 AM   #1578
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As More Chinese Travel by Plane, Delays Bring Headache -- WSJ Blog
7 February 2014
Dow Jones

The Year of the Horse is off to a cold, wet start for many in China.

Heavy snowfall in the central and eastern regions of the country caused flight and road delays--even a riot at one major airport--as tens of millions of Chinese returned back to work from the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday.

Passengers smashed an information desk at Zhengzhou's Xinzheng International Airport in northern Henan province after flights were canceled due to inclement weather Thursday, stranding more than 2,000 passengers, according to the Henan Business Daily.

The report said a female passenger broke into a control room at the airport, hitting and pouring a drink over a dispatcher's head.

China has a poor track record for flight delays, and local media have reported numerous passenger meltdowns in the past.

This year's incidents come as more and more Chinese choose to eschew the long-favored trains for planes: The country reported a nearly 20% jump in airline passenger numbers during the holiday from a year earlier.

A total of 7.69 million passengers traveled by air during the weeklong holiday that began Jan 31, a 20% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to estimates released Friday by China's aviation regulator.

The increase of domestic and overseas travel in a country of 1.3 billion has only exacerbated the pressure on air and railways staff. The Lunar New Year holiday is the most important time of year for Chinese, tens of millions of whom trek back to their hometowns for celebrations.

Chinese travelers on the road also experienced delays. Some chose to cancel their trips, with CCTV reporting decreased passenger volume on buses. Eighty stretches of highways were closed because of snow Thursday, according to the Beijing News, which also reported that several high-speed rails in the east had limited their speeds to under 200 kilometers per hour and that stations in Beijing were offering free refunds to delayed passengers.

"I saw at least five car accidents on the highway, because of the snow," said Guo Zhonglei, who drove from central Xi'an city to nearby Baoji on Thursday. The trip, which he said normally takes two hours, took him almost five. "It was snowing heavily the whole way. We were driving as slow as 20 kilometers per hour. Cars were slipping off the road and drivers were braking."

This year's holiday probably isn't the last time the country will see such travel headaches, as a growing proportion of Chinese use their government-allotted time off work to go on vacation.

Some 225 million are estimated to have traveled via various transportation modes to visit family or for vacation during the holiday, up 11% from a year earlier, according to China Tourism Academy, a research arm of the China National Tourism Administration.

A record 4.5 million Chinese are estimated to have spent their Lunar New Year traveling overseas, according to statistics from the China Tourism Administration reported in the China Daily. And analysts expect the numbers to grow from the current 4% of total travelers, as more affluent Chinese take advantage of the strong yuan.

Nasdaq-listed Ctrip.com International, one of China's biggest online travel websites, said outbound travelers accounted for more than half of the Chinese tourists taking vacations during the break, with Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore being the top three international destinations.
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Old February 18th, 2014, 10:59 AM   #1579
doc7austin
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This year's holiday probably isn't the last time the country will see such travel headaches, as a growing proportion of Chinese use their government-allotted time off work to go on vacation.
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Old February 18th, 2014, 11:03 AM   #1580
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc7austin View Post
This year's holiday probably isn't the last time the country will see such travel headaches, as a growing proportion of Chinese use their government-allotted time off work to go on vacation.
The problem is that Chinese employees have very little annual leave days each year. Practically there are forced to visit family home or go on vacation during Golden Week or Chinese New Year.

Only when employee-employer relationships improve, we may see employers granting more annual leave days. Right now usually employers have much more power over employees as compared to other countries.
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