China Southern Airlines reported (22-Aug-2012) its sixth freedom rights sales increased by 2.6 times to a monthly record CNY134 million (USD20.9 million) in Jul-2012, according to CAAC Central and Southern Regional Administration. In particular, the carrier’s sixth freedom transit revenue between Australia and Europe increased 3.6 times from 2011. [more - original PR - Chinese]
China Southern Airlines Jul-2012 sixth freedom rights sales up 2.6 times
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Shenzhen Airport to expand by 58% – supporting nearby congested Guangzhou, Hong Kong Airports
The expansion in late 2013 of Shenzhen Airport’s terminal three will see capacity growth of up to 57.9% as hourly movements increase from 38 to 60. The capacity will grow the local market, a relatively prosperous area that was China’s first free trade zone and has benefitted by tight relations with Hong Kong, just over the border. Shenzhen Airlines and majority owner Air China are the largest carriers and will benefit from the capacity increase.
But rivals are looking to establish a presence, mindful that capacity increases in key Chinese cities will be rare, having already experienced restraints in Beijing and Shanghai but also Guangzhou.
China Southern intends to launch international flights from Shenzhen despite being based in Guangzhou, 99km away. Spring Airlines has larger ambitions, eyeing Shenzhen as its first southern China base. Spring also wants to lure traffic from congested Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The distance from Guangzhou and Hong Kong is close but ground transport restraints make them far away. In other markets LCCs have established successful ground transport options – can Spring replicate that?
Lower-weight A330 targeted at China, with its high dependence on widebody aircraft for trunk routes
The tremendous growth of the domestic Chinese aviation market over the last decade is strongly tied to the increasing use of widebody aircraft. The country's largest route, Beijing Capital to Shanghai Hongqiao, has grown 53% in frequencies from 2003 to 2013. And widebody aircraft have grown disproportionately higher: in 2003 widebodies flew 47% of Beijing-Shanghai frequencies; in 2013 they fly 76% of frequencies between the country's two main cities.
While carriers operate a number of widebodies on domestic routes, it is the A330 that captures attention. The twin-engined aircraft was not even in service in China in 2003 but in 2013 the A330 flies 53% of all Beijing-Shanghai frequencies. So it is not surprising Airbus chose a Chinese event to announce its lower-weight A330, pitched for regional and domestic operations. Widebody aircraft on trunk routes deliver not just cost efficiencies but permit capacity growth in restricted airspace. Widebodies are so key that some domestic Chinese route authorities are awarded only if an airline plans to use a widebody.