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Discussion Starter #924
Punctuality improves at airports
China Daily Excerpt
Oct. 18, 2017

Aviation network continuing to expand across the country

Nearly three-fourths of passenger flights in September landed or departed on time, an official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China said on Tuesday, representing a significant improvement over the previous months.

Airports across the Chinese mainland handled 436,588 flights last month - including a record 15,323 on Sept 29, the day before the National Day holiday - with an overall punctuality rate of 73 percent, Zhang Chunzhi, Party chief of the administration's operation and monitoring center, said at a news conference.

In August, 55 percent of flights were on time, while in July the rate was only 50 percent, figures from the administration showed.

The authority said 53 percent of the delays were caused by weather, and almost 27 percent by airspace congestion. Air-traffic control accounted for 7.8 percent of the delays.

The top three airlines for punctuality were Air Chang'an, Air Jiangxi and Joy Air, while the most punctual airports were Xishuangbanna in Yunnan province, Hailaar in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and Xining in Qinghai province.

A goal of 76 percent punctuality was set by the administration in 2017, according to Feng Zhenglin, head of the CAAC. In 2016, the flight punctuality rate was 76.7 percent.

"In five years, the market for civil aviation has increased rapidly with the rising economy," Zhang said.

The country's airports handled an average 12,790 flights a day in 2016, up from 8,973 in 2012.

The aviation network has been expanded, with 88.5 percent of cities and 76.5 percent of counties now within 100 kilometers of an airport, said Ji Yuan, deputy director of the administration's development and planning department.

Last year, China had 3,794 fixed air routes, an increase of 54 percent from 2012. China's airlines fly to 145 cities in 56 countries on a fixed schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter #927
Boeing's $37 billion mega order in China is said to cover mostly old deals
Bloomberg Excerpt
Nov. 9, 2017

Boeing's $37 billion order, unveiled during Donald Trump's first visit to China as U.S. president, consists mostly of previously agreed deals, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

The 300 aircraft order from China Aviation Supplies Holding Co., the state-owned company that does bulk orders for local airlines, is mostly for jets that have been agreed upon since 2013 and set to be delivered through 2020, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because he isn't authorized to speak to media. The order is for 260 narrow-body planes and 40 widebody aircraft, the Chinese company said Thursday after Trump met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Representatives of Chicago-based Boeing declined to say whether the contracts are new, or rather, old acquisitions that are sometimes made public during heads-of-state visits. China Aviation didn't respond to phone calls seeking comment. On its website, Boeing lists more than 1,000 orders from undisclosed clients.

The latest twist underscores the political stakes in the transaction as the U.S. administration seeks to show its ability to pull in large contracts for its biggest manufacturers. Last month, Singapore Airlines formally signed a firm order with Boeing for $13.8 billion at list prices in a ceremony witnessed by Trump and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. That was the finalization of a deal that was announced in February as a letter of intent.

"We are not 100 percent sure whether this is already included in what Boeing had previously disclosed," said Corrine Png, CEO of Crucial Perspective, a specialist in Asian transportation equities. "Sometimes they double count."

Chinese airlines have been on a plane-buying spree from Boeing and Airbus SE amid a projection for the country to overtake the U.S. as the largest air-travel market in five years. The state has previously placed large orders through a centralized buyer before dividing them up among its airlines and leasing companies, including a $22 billion deal China Aviation Supplies announced in July.

During a visit by Xi to Berlin in July, Airbus said it won a $22 billion order to supply 140 planes to China, including 40 widebody A350s and 100 of its narrowbody A320-series jets.

In September 2015, Boeing landed $38 billion in plane orders and commitments from Chinese carriers and lessors when Xi made his first state visit to the U.S. Under the "general terms agreement" announced at the time, there were orders and commitments for 190 single-aisle 737s and 50 wide-body jetliners, without customers being identified. Lessors ICBC Financial Leasing Co. and CDB Leasing Co. took another 60 737s.

"It's well-established political order and would have been surprising if something was not announced," said Will Horton, the Hong Kong-based analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation. "Three hundred aircraft for China is supermarket shopping, not Costco stockpiling. There will need to be more orders soon."

Boeing in September raised its 20-year forecast for aircraft demand in China as the nation's growth and an expanding middle class boost air travel. The planemaker expects China needs 7,240 new planes valued at almost $1.1 trillion in the two decades through 2036, compared with a previous projection for 6,810 aircraft through 2035.

Air China Ltd., China Eastern Airlines Corp., China Southern Airlines Co. -- the three biggest state carriers -- together plan to add more than 600 aircraft through 2020. Air China and China Eastern intend to introduce 167 and 191 aircraft respectively through 2019, while China Southern has plans for almost 300 more planes by 2020, according to the companies' financial statements.

Among the most recent orders for Chinese carriers, China Southern said last month it signed a contract to buy 38 Boeing planes -- eight 777s and 30 737s -- at a list price of $5.65 billion. This followed a $6 billion order for 20 Airbus A350 planes that the Guangzhou-based carrier announced six months earlier. China Southern will take delivery of the A350-900s starting 2019, with all of the planes to be handed over by the end of 2022, it said in April.
 

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Discussion Starter #929
Nov 19, 2017
Excerpt
Hainan Airlines to launch new Sydney route: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Hainan Airlines will start direct flights from its base in Haikou, on Hainan island, to Sydney, Australia, from Jan. 30, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

The airline will fly an Airbus A330 on the new route twice a week, Xinhua said, adding the service was designed to meet increasing demand from tourists and business people.

It will be the first international route operated by Hainan Airlines from its home on the southern island province and the company’s seventh direct route to Australia, according to Xinhua.

Hainan Airlines already flies to Sydney from the cities of Xian and Changsha, and to other Australian destinations, including Cairns and Melbourne, from other Chinese cities.
 

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Discussion Starter #930
Nov 24, 2017
Chinese airlines court Cathay pilots facing pay squeeze
Excerpt

SHANGHAI/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Chinese airlines are circling disaffected pilots at Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways (0293.HK), offering sky-high salaries to fill a shortage of experienced captains in a rapidly expanding aviation industry.

Chinese carriers, including China Southern Airlines (600029.SS), Hainan Airlines (600221.SS) and Juneyao Airlines (603885.SS), will need more than 100,000 new pilots over the next two decades, according to forecasts by planemaker Boeing Co (BA.N), as air travel takes off with increased prosperity in the world’s second-largest economy.

China trains around 4,700 new pilots a year at home and abroad, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), but the industry’s sharp growth has left it short of captains with several thousand hours flying experience.

“Chinese airlines are growing so quickly, and ... it takes a lot of time to become a captain,” said Xu Dandi, head of recruitment at Yu Feng Consulting, whose clients include China Southern and Loong Air. “Pilots hired in Hong Kong have likely passed strict assessments ... and have experience flying in Asia.”

Pilot recruitment firms have flocked to Hong Kong hoping to attract established pilots from loss-making Cathay, which has this year axed 600 jobs in its biggest round of staff cuts in almost 20 years.

While Cathay is not firing any of its 2,500 Hong Kong-based pilots, it has warned of cuts next month to their housing allowances, which for some veteran captains can be worth up to HK$100,000 (£9621.38) a month.

Some Cathay pilots - who are widely regarded as among the industry’s best-qualified and highest-paid - say cuts could price them out of living in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Many are expatriate Australians, Americans and Britons.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pilots-cathay-pacific/chinese-airlines-court-cathay-pilots-facing-pay-squeeze-idUSKBN1DN29Q
 

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Discussion Starter #933
HNA's Units Are on a Borrowing Spree, Swallowing High Rates
Bloomberg Excerpt
December 4, 2017

Units of HNA Group Co. are stepping up fundraising in the local bond market even as borrowing costs soar, adding to concerns about the Chinese conglomerate’s debt burden.

Yunnan Lucky Air Co., a unit of Hainan Airlines Holding Co. -- HNA’s flag carrier -- sold a 270-day yuan bond to yield 8.2 percent last week, the highest coupon rate ever for the Yunnan airline. Tianjin Airlines Co., another subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, issued similar-maturity notes at the highest coupon rate in five years in November.

While surging onshore bond yields last month forced Chinese companies to cancel the most bond offerings since April, HNA’s units didn’t slow their pace of financing. They revived debt sales from November, following a lull after news emerged in June about a crackdown by China’s banking regulator. The accelerated fundraising suggests a need for money and may hurt the conglomerate’s credit profile, according to credit research firm Bondcritic Ltd.

“They just keep piling on debt,” said Warut Promboon, managing partner at Bondcritic. “It’s not going to work.”

Two calls to Hainan Airlines’ public relations officers weren’t answered. There were no replies to questions sent via text messages.

S&P Global Ratings said last week it had lowered HNA Group’s credit profile by one notch to "b," or five levels below investment grade, citing the company’s significant debt maturities over the next several years and rising finance costs.

More : https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-03/hna-s-units-are-on-a-borrowing-spree-swallowing-sky-high-rates
 

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Discussion Starter #934
Air route links central Chinese city with Sydney

ZHENGZHOU, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Tianjin Airlines announced Thursday the launch of a Tianjin-Zhengzhou-Sydney flight on Jan. 29, which will be the first intercontinental airline for central China's Henan Province.

There will be two round trips every week, and the one-way trip from Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, to Sydney will take 11 hours.

The airline said the air route would aid tourists from northern and central China to travel in the Oceanian country.
 

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Discussion Starter #935
On-time flight goal fixed at 75%
China Daily Excerpt
28 Dec 2017

Airline flights are expected to be more punctual next year than they have been in 2017, with the goal for national flight punctuality set at no less than 75 percent in 2018.

"The civil aviation industry will focus on improving quality and efficiency to enhance the flight punctuality rate," Feng Zhenglin, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said on Wednesday in Beijing at the administration's 2018 annual work conference.

The operational volume should be matched with support capabilities, encouraging airlines to adjust the scale and structure of fleets to enhance their flexibility. Airlines will be required to have backup capacity, Feng said.

"Under the premise of ensuring safety and to create space for airlines, airports and air control departments will optimize process flow and improve efficiency," to improve the flight punctuality rate, Feng said.

For travelers, flight punctuality is a top priority. No one enjoys spending hours at an airport, no matter how fancy it might be.

However, flight punctuality can be unpredictable due to weather conditions. In July, the national flight punctuality rate dropped to about 50 percent because of a large number of extreme weather events affecting air traffic control.

The administration started to take action in August by controlling the number of flights based on the airport's capacity, the air traffic control's ability to handle an increased flight schedule and by making scientific operations standard to optimize performance.

The efforts have paid off. In October, 84 percent of flights were on time. The improvements continued into November, with an 85 percent on-time record, the best in 8 1/2 years.

Flight punctuality through the first 11 months stands at 71 percent.

More : http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201712/28/WS5a443e25a31008cf16da3e77.html
 

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On-time flight goal fixed at 75%
However, flight punctuality can be unpredictable due to weather conditions. In July, the national flight punctuality rate dropped to about 50 percent because of a large number of extreme weather events affecting...
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Discussion Starter #939
Taiwan calls for talks with China on aviation issues
Excerpt

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) Taiwan is calling for discussions with China on issues related to aviation management in the Taiwan Strait, in the wake of China's recent unilateral activation of four aviation routes close to the median line of the strait.

Last week, China reneged on a 2015 cross-strait agreement with Taiwan and unilaterally activated four new aviation routes in the Taiwan Strait -- a northbound path on the M503 route and three east-west extension routes called W121, W122 and W123.

The M503 at its nearest point is only 7.8 km from the centerline of the strait and close to the Taipei Flight Information Region, while the W122 and W123 are close to Taiwan's offshore islands of Matsu and Kinmen, respectively.

China's move to open the four flight routes without prior negotiation with Taiwan has sparked concerns in Taipei about potential intrusions into domestic flight routes to and from Matsu and Kinmen.

Detailing such concerns, Lin Kuo-shian (林國顯), director-general of Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), said Xiang'an International Airport, under construction on China's southeast coast, is just 10 kilometers from Kinmen.

The Xiang'an airport in Xiamen, which is being built to ease congestion at Gaoqi International Airport in the same city in Fujian Province, is scheduled to be completed in 2020, he noted.

If the new airport begins operations without prior cross-strait negotiations, it will have a huge impact of air traffic in and out of Shang Yi Airport in Kinmen, as it is even closer than the Gaoqi airport, Lin said.
 
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