China Eastern Airlines Chairman, Liu Shaoyong, continued to urge the government to open up more airspace for domestic carriers to enable them to compete with the expanding high-speed rail network and to enable them to increase flight efficiency and reduce delays and carbon emissions (Shanghai Daily, 10-Mar-2010). Mr Liu added that high-speed railways will cover more than 60% of the country's civil aviation network, significantly impacting airlines and resulting in a reduction in short-haul operations. Mr Liu also proposed the governmetn issue guidelines for the development of the aviation industry, and called for further consolidation among domestic airlines and continued government support to improve state-owned airlines' balance sheets.
China Eastern Airlines: "Carriers are likely to cancel routes shorter than 500 km in these markets, and passenger volume on routes between 500 and 800 km is expected to decrease 20 to 30%...The civil aviation industry attaches greater importance to the country's economy, but insufficient airspace, undeveloped regional air, frail innovative ability and incomplete infrastructure weaken our competitiveness," Liu Shaoyong, Chairman. Source: Shanghai Daily, 10-Mar-2010.