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China’s private airlines face do-or-die year in 2009


China’s nascent private airline sector faces another very challenging year after a series of nasty surprises of 2008. The first private carrier to take to the skies, Okay Airways, has also been the first casualty. For the Chinese airline sector, earthquakes, icestorms, security crackdowns and yuan depreciation were among the major challenges faced last year. Internal wrangling over strategy and the lack of skilled human resources added to the challenges for the smaller private airlines. In 2009, both the private and state-owned airlines face a slackening revenue environment amid a slowing economy. [2102 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Restrictions hamper development
  • Two new entrants for 2009 - make that one
  • Spring Airlines breaks even in 2008
  • Other private airlines feeling the heat - Juneyao Group a common thread
  • Okay Airways KO'ed by internal wrangling
  • United Eagle Airlines' wings clipped
  • Juneyao Airlines defers IPO to 2010
  • East Star setting in the west, as Air China to the rescue
  • Conclusion: 2009 a battle for survival

Graphs and data:

  • Stop-gap or solution? Chinese airline industry crisis measures: Dec-08/Jan-09
  • China domestic capacity breakdown by carrier (seats per week as % of total): Week commencing 12-Jan-09
  • Chinese private airlines fleet data: as at 12-Jan-09
  • Juneyao Group airline shareholdings
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