China Eastern Airlines
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- 2550 Hongqiao Road, Hongqiao International Airport
- Main hub
- Shanghai Pudong Airport
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- Part of China Eastern Air Holding Company
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China Eastern Airlines
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Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines is one of China's 'big three' state-owned airlines, with hubs at Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao airports, as well as Kunming Airport in southwest China. The airline operates a fleet of Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft to support an extensive network, serving over 350 domestic routes and 40 international destinations, including cities in Australia, Europe, Korea, Japan, North America and Southeast Asia. China Eastern merged with Shanghai Airlines in 2010 and joined China Southern in the SkyTeam Alliance in Jun-2011.
Location of China Eastern Airlines main hub (Shanghai Pudong Airport)
China Eastern Airlines share price
4,057 total articles
313 total articles
Airbus A340-500/600 fleet profile: Lufthansa, Iberia retain large fleets, Asian airlines retire them
In 2015 Thai Airways and China Eastern retired their A340-600 fleets. of the 132 A340-500/600s produced, 89 were recently in active service. Lufthansa and Iberia account for 46% of the in-service fleet. Together with three more airlines – Etihad, Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways – they account for 81% of the in-service fleet.
Lufthansa's A340-600 fleet will be phased out as they age, with the airline's 2025 fleet to comprise the A380, 747-8i, 777X, A350 and A330. Iberia is retaining its A340-600s to serve the hot and high destinations of Mexico City, San Jose, Bogota and Quito. Iberia's Madrid-Mexico City service is the largest A340-500/600 route based on ASKs. South African Airways' Johannesburg-New York JFK flight is the longest by distance, and SAA is hoping for a replacement aircraft for the fuel-thirsty flight.
The A340-500/600 is fading from the Gulf as Emirates retires its fleet, while Etihad and Qatar use their types on fewer long haul services.
The civil war erupts. The rift between the large three global US network airlines and medium sized airlines operating in the country is growing. Airlines housed in those two sectors are on opposite sides of the Gulf "subsidy" campaign waged by American, Delta and United. This is reflected in the recent partnering of JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines, along with other airlines, to create the US Airlines for Open Skies Coalition to promote benefits of the open skies agreements the US holds with over 100 countries.
But Hawaiian and JetBlue are also publicly denouncing the detriments of a fundamental tenet of the business strategy adopted by the large three US airlines during the last decade – immunised joint venture agreements. Hawaiian and JetBlue believe joint ventures have resulted in higher fares and decreased consumer choice.
JetBlue has requested that the US government review joint ventures to ensure those pacts benefit consumers. US regulators recently have shown an eagerness to undertake scrutiny of the country’s largest airlines, so JetBlue believes it has favourable odds of gaining traction on its request.
Delta Air Lines is making its largest airline investment yet at USD450m. The prize is China Eastern Airlines, on the cusp of re-vitalisation, long-haul growth and a beneficiary as China's aviation power looks set to tip to Shanghai. Yet Delta's largest investment buys it only 3.55% and an observer's seat on the board. In comparison, USD360m bought Delta 49% of Virgin Atlantic and three board seats. In light of Delta's anti-Gulf carrier dispute, Delta will quietly need to reconcile the fact China Eastern is the most heavily subsidised Chinese airline.
Delta emphasises it is "solidifying" its partnership with China Eastern. The two account for 24% of US-mainland China seat capacity in Jul-2015. That is approximately 20,000 weekly one-way seats compared to the 78,000 US-UK seats Delta and Virgin have on the tightly held North Atlantic. Delta's stake reflects long term potential but as a mere 3.5% it is more symbolic and a placeholder for a potentially deeper partnership.
China Eastern has been considering its future direction, and even whether it should leave SkyTeam for the oneworld alliance. Delta's stake is an attempt to maintain the status quo. Delta needs China Eastern more than the China Eastern needs Delta. There is some wariness at China Eastern about Delta's intentions, but this could be the start of a long and close relationship. It is likely to spark competitive responses, such as United Airlines re-evaluating Air China's wish for a deeper partnership. It is unclear if Delta's stake signals other foreign airlines can buy into Chinese airlines.
China Southern Airlines exceeds 55x flights target to Australia/NZ. Competition regulators query JVs
Mission accomplished: China Southern Airlines is already surpassing its goal of having 55 weekly flights to Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2015. From about 25 weekly flights in 2011, China Southern in Dec-2015 will have 65 weekly flights. This includes three daily flights – one on an A380 – to Sydney, a frequency that compares to Cathay Pacific’s four and Singapore Airlines’ average 4.5.
Competitors are responding with a series of JVs that await regulatory approval. Qantas-China Eastern received a draft rejection while Air New Zealand-Air China awaits approval and Air New Zealand-Cathay Pacific needs re-authorisation. The Qantas-China Eastern initial rejection appears misguided while New Zealand stakeholders are questioning the benefits of the Air NZ-Cathay alliance in a market that where capacity has decreased by 18% while the Air NZ-Singapore Airlines alliance has grown capacity by 20%.
It might appear lines in the market have been drawn, but it is still early days. China Southern’s achievement in the market is only its first. The question is what its next goal is, and the answer is being kept closely guarded.
Northeast Asia's combination passenger-freight airlines are re-fleeting their main deck cargo operations. EVA Air is the latest, announcing at the Paris Air Show its intent to acquire five 777Fs. The 777F has also been used to re-fleet the cargo units affiliated mainland China's big three airlines: Air China, China Eastern and China Southern. The largest in-service 777F fleet in the world is with China Southern, with 10. Korean Air has taken 777Fs in addition to 747-8Fs, which only Cathay in Asia has been the other combination airline to use. There are no known re-fleeting plans from Asiana and China Airlines.
The airlines that have re-fleeted have been optimistic about acquisition costs being offset by operating efficiencies.
Southeast Asia has a different outlook. Thai Airways has exited the main deck freight business and Malaysia Airlines may do the same, although both were small players. Singapore Airlines Cargo is the largest in Southeast Asia but with only eight in-service 747Fs and no plans to re-fleet. As with the passenger business, Southeast Asian carriers are disadvantaged in serving North America, the main freight route for Northeast Asian carriers. To Europe there is large competition, including from Gulf carriers.
Vancouver International Airport charted impressive growth in 2014, leveraging and solidifying its position as Canada’s second largest airport. Vancouver is buoyed by its leading position as the country’s gateway to Asia; but in 2015 it has also secured new service from Air France and Aeromexico.
As it celebrates solid passenger numbers, Vancouver also faces growing competitive pressure from nearby Seattle now that Delta is quickly building the airport into its main gateway to Asia. But a recent expansion of Canada’s transit without visa programme should help Vancouver face the increased competition by giving the airport the potential to eventually connect travellers from Asia to Central and South America.
Overall Vancouver seems well positioned to meet its growth targets, which include handling 25 million passengers annually by 2020, a nearly 29% jump over a record number of customers travelling through the airport in 2014.