- Passenger numbers: 2.8 million, +3.9%;
- Cargo volume: 83,200 tonnes, +5.1%;
- Aircraft movements: 22,500, +5.9%;
- Passenger numbers: 8.7million, +11.4%;
- Cargo volume: 213,600, +5.0%;
- Aircraft movements: 67,300, +9.2%.
Shenzhen Airport pax up 4%, cargo up 5% in Mar-2014; 8.7m pax in 1Q2014
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China Eastern's LCC China United is expected to start international flying, challenging Air China
China Eastern Airlines is taking the lead amongst the country's state-owned carriers in developing an LCC presence. This follows Beijing's embrace and active promotion of LCCs, which it sees as spearheading new growth and being in line with the country's increasing austerity and efficiency targets. China Eastern has converted its subsidiary China United Airlines, based at the smaller Beijing airport of Nanyuan.
China United only flies domestically, and mostly to secondary cities, but in Jan-2015 applied to regulator CAAC to expand its business licence to international services. China United is expected to be given the right to fly internationally from its Beijing home but also Shenzhen.
Shenzhen's international development has been stunted – possibly due to lobbying from Air China partner Cathay Pacific, which feeds on the Shenzhen market – and local carrier Shenzhen Airlines has a minimal international presence. Shenzhen Airlines is majority owned by Air China, meaning China United's international expansion could eventually challenge the Air China group at multiple levels. With time there will also be an impact to the Hong Kong market, although crossing the border is still far from seamless.
Barcelona El Prat: Europe's leading airport for LCCs a battleground in fight for business travellers
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Traffic growth at Barcelona was strong before the global financial crisis, but slumped in 2008 and 2009. It bounced back quickly in 2010 and 2011, before the demise of Spanair interrupted the resumption of rapid growth. After various twists and turns in the traffic growth path of the three leading airlines at Barcelona, all three now look ready to battle hard, particularly for business passengers.