China United Airlines
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China United Airlines was originally an arm of the People's Liberation Army civil transport division and was reconstructed as a charter provider. China United Airlines operates ordinary and cooperative scheduled domestic charter services with local enterprises. The carrier is mainly based in Beijing Nanyuan Airport, a former military airfield and is the sole airline using this airport.
Location of China United Airlines main hub (Beijing Nanyuan Airport)
90 total articles
CAAC: 21 airlines to receive USD68m in subsidies for regional services in 2013, led by China Eastern
6 total articles
When CAAC vice-administrator Xia Xinghua proclaimed “We urgently need to develop LCCs” at a public forum in Beijing on 5-Nov-2013, it became clear that fundamental changes are on the way for low-cost carriers and the overall aviation market in China.
Within the overriding goal of ensuring stability for the Big Three Chinese flag carriers, it will not be a simple process. One thing is very clear however: the CAAC is serious about introducing significant change in the sector. This includes approving new carriers, reforming airport charges, introducing LCC terminals, changing aircraft acquisition processes and taxes, not requiring approval for new routes, and the ever-topical matter of airspace reform (albeit largely outside its control).
The forthright move is part of a wider commercial agenda of China's new leadership, which meets again on 9-Nov-2013, seeking to find the right formulas to allow greater play of market forces, while maintaining appropriate regulatory backstops. Purists will see this as being half pregnant. For example, in Oct-2013 the CAAC abolished minimum pricing requirements in the domestic market, an important step for LCCs; but price caps remain as a consumer protection measure – despite total price freedom being integral to LCC structures.
But China has repeatedly shown the ingenuity to evolve tailored solutions that fit the very different environment in this enormously complex country. There will be a "China solution" and it will allow more LCC operations – but there will be differences….
The CAAC has come out with an extraordinary prediction this month: Chinese airlines will nearly double their fleet size to as many as 5,000 aircraft by 2015. In the shadows of a major international air show on home soil, one might expect some bullish sentiment from the hosts. But the comment, by CAAC Head Li Jiaxiang, that the nation's domestic carriers will have an expected combined fleet of 4,800-5,000 aircraft in just five years (from 2,600 at present) is a breathtaking assessment. Even if it's only 50% accurate, aircraft manufacturers big and small are in for a bonanza.
China’s fragmented airline industry is undergoing a shakeup. Merger and acquisition activity is intense – probably more so than any other aviation market in the world. In the space of a few short years, the majority of China’s second tier airlines have, at least partially, become owned or controlled by one of the "Big Three" carriers and/or HNA Group, as consolidation accelerates in China. In this report, CAPA reviews what’s fuelling the feeding frenzy and who the targets are.
The contract offered by Latvia’s Riga Airport to national airline airBaltic to build and operate a EUR92 million terminal for seven million passengers per annum by 2014 is unusual but not unique. For more than a decade airlines have been investing in some of the airports at which they operate, and on some occasions as the only investor. A new report published by CAPA highlights this practice.
Airline industry profits are flowing again in China in 2010 after a recovery in earnings in late 2009. Chinese carriers are now growing capacity (and their respective fleets and networks) aggressively, looking to further consolidate at home and increasing their presence on the international stage with a series of alliance moves.
China’s second-tier carriers are hard at work at present, rapidly expanding their domestic and (in some cases) international route networks. However, the vast majority of these airlines are now doing so under the control of the "Big Three" carriers and/or HNA Group, as consolidation accelerates in China. As such, China’s airline evolution is at a very interesting stage. Where previously the major airlines: 1) established considerable branch carrier networks to serve diverse geographic areas in China; and 2) eliminated brands of the acquired airlines, they now appear to be looking more strategically at segmenting the market, retaining the second-tier carrier brands, particularly those focused on tourism/leisure markets.
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