Kunming Airlines is a Chinese carrier based in Kunming, Yunan, China. The carrier was founded in 2005 and operates scheduled from operating base at Kunming International Airport. Kunming Airlines operates a fleet of narrow body equipment and is 80% owned by Sichuan Airlines.
Location of Kunming Airlines main hub (Kunming Airport)
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Significant expansion is under way at Kunming Airport following the opening of the airport's new facility in Jun-2012. As the seventh largest airport in China by passenger numbers (50th in the world – larger than Barcelona El Prat, Boston or London Gatwick) and fourth largest by physical size, Kunming is the capital of expansive Yunnan province, a hub for tourism and a key gateway for South and Southeast Asia. LCC AirAsia has launched a new flight while Singapore Airlines subsidiary SilkAir has increased service.
Kunming has organic O&D traffic flows but also great potential to be a hub for passengers going to Southeast Asia from either China or on long-haul sixth freedom flows Chinese carriers are increasingly targeting. China Eastern, which has a base in Kunming and is the largest carrier there, is mounting a rare aggressive expansion plan after primarily focusing on its merger and enhanced position in Shanghai.
Private carriers Juneyao and Spring Airlines want to establish a base, but many are finding the airport is already running out of slots. Before the airport becomes mainstream, future entrants may be locked out.
Shenzhen Airlines is planning to grow its fleet to over 170 aircraft by the end of 2015 as it taps into rapid growth in its home market as well six other regional bases across China. Over the same time period Shenzhen Airlines plans to expand its fledgling international network to over 20 routes.
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.
China’s 'big three' airports - Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai - may be exhibiting a strong rebound in demand, but some truly breathtaking activity is occurring at China’s second tier airports. Growth rates of 25% and above are commonplace, as are extensive upgrade and expansion projects to keep up with galloping demand. A battle is meanwhile unfolding between airports in Western China for the mantle of that region’s pre-eminent hub, while airlines are adjusting their strategies for serving China’s burgeoning second-tier airport network in the face of rising competition from high speed rail.
Kunming Airlines, 80% owned by Shenzhen Airlines, commenced operations on 15-Feb-09, operating from Kunming to Changsha and on to Harbin. The carrier is based in Kunming, and also plans to establish bases in Xi’an, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Hangzhou in the medium to long-term.
The global economic turmoil may have claimed over 30 airlines in 2008, but there are still some brave airlines planning to enter the market in 2009, taking advantage of lower fuel and aircraft costs. In this update, we review the start-up plans of carriers based in China (China Joy Airlines and Kunming Airlines), East Timor (Timor Air), Philippines (SEAIR and Spirit of Manila), Kuwait (Wataniya Airways), Greece (Athens Airways), Italy (Lufthansa Italia), Russia (Rosavia), Bolivia (Boliviana de Aviacion), South Africa (Airtime Airlines) and Togo (ASKY).