China Eastern Airlines announced (26-Nov-2012) it has combined its branch in Hebei province and its subsidiary China United Airlines Co Ltd to establish China United Airlines as part of a change in strategy in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The new airline, based at Beijing Nanyuan Airport, has a fleet of 23 Boeing aircraft and this will increase to 50 aircraft by 2015. It is expected annual passenger traffic will exceed 10 million by 2015. [more - original PR - Chinese]
China Eastern Airlines restructures Hebei operations, launches China United Airlines
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China-Japan: Peach, Jetstar Japan & China United the latest LCCs to enter Asia's 3rd largest market
Japan-China is the third largest international country pair in Northeast and Southeast Asia. The market has expanded due to Chinese outbound visitor growth, with Chinese visitor numbers doubling from 2.4 million in 2014 to 5.0 million in 2015, and 9M2016 shows a further 30% expansion. LCCs account for approximately 10% of the market, and there are an expected three further LCC entrants in the Japan-China market: Peach Aviation, Jetstar Japan and China United Airlines. Their entry, however, comes after the major boom: eight airlines have entered the market since 2014.
The impact of the additional LCCs will be minimal in network size: Peach's four weekly Osaka-Shanghai flights are in addition to an existing 117 weekly flights. Over the long term there are strong opportunities for LCCs (as evidenced by the first mover Spring Airlines), but in the near future the greatest impact from additional LCCs will be in reminding Chinese full service airlines of alternative business models and their own need to reform. To a Chinese airline a Japanese LCC is almost paradoxical: an airline trying to be low cost in a high cost country with low population growth. Yet the relative success of Japanese LCCs provides a case study – and also market challenges.
Disruption in the airline industry. It will happen sooner than we think: Part 1
There are two essential elements to the airline industry: flying aeroplanes and selling (and buying) seats. More technically this can be described as (1) operational; and (2) marketing and sales. There are other important activities, such as lobbying government to limit competition, and exploiting frequent flyer programmes, but those two are the core activities now facing disruption.
The former is unique to airlines, is uniquely regulated and engages massive governmental regulatory intervention, technical and economic. The marketing and sales activity has some aspects particular to aviation, but generally differs little from any other form of retail – except that most older airlines have tended to be particularly slow at learning the art.
This analysis reviews the nature and degree of disruption in each core area and what potential the future holds. In the regulatory area, China will be the big disruptor as it expands into its new global role; and technology and the associated rise in consumer empowerment will transform the process of buying and selling tickets. It will happen sooner than we expect.