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2010: The Air China decade begins? Beijing’s hegemony of Chinese aviation reborn


Thirty years ago, China’s aviation industry was centrally owned, controlled and coordinated. Growth rates were low, safety standards were poor and service standards were basic. The opening of the Chinese economy in the late 1970s and early 1980s prompted some big changes in the air, with the arrival of provincially based (but still centrally owned) carriers, while the 1990s saw an explosion in new entry. Several of the more ambitious provincial governments established their own carriers, and traffic (and airline losses) took off. [2431 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • A “super carrier” is born
  • Guangzhou next stop? Probably not
  • Outlook: Full circle, with Beijing in control

Graphs and data:

  • Mainland Chinese major airlines’ operating profit margins (%): 2004 to 2008
  • Chinese airline destinations from Beijing: Dec-2009
  • China international carrier capacity share 
  • Chinese airline destinations from Shanghai: Dec-2009
  • China domestic carrier capacity share
  • Chinese airline destinations from Guangzhou: Dec-2009
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