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China aviation SWOT: Airlines cash starved, China Eastern-Shanghai Air merger likely to stumble


China’s airline industry faces an enormously challenging year. Geared for growth, under-capitalised and unrestructured, the sector has been rocked by external events and economic malaise, while internal rivalries and policy inertia threaten to undermine what on paper appears a potential aviation growth bonanza. We review China’s aviation sector prospects in this SWOT analysis. [2195 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • STRENGTHS – World’s brightest growth prospect
  • WEAKNESSES – The cost of growth, internal rivalries and favouritism
  • OPPORTUNITIES – Leadership and North Asian liberalisation
  • THREATS – Protracted economic slump in the west, planes and pigs

Graphs and data:

  • Chinese Mainland international, domestic and regional (Hong Kong/Macau) airport passenger numbers (mill): 1984 to 2008
  • Chinese Mainland airport passenger numbers (mill) and passenger numbers growth (% change year-on-year): 2008
  • Chinese Mainland airport cargo volumes (mill tonnes) and cargo volume growth (% change year-on-year): 2008
  • Select Chinese carriers’ key financial results: Three months ended 31-Mar-09
  • Chinese airline share price index Jan-2009 to Jun-2009
  • Air China, Hainan Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern and Cathay Pacific passenger number growth: Jan-07 to May-09
  • China fleet expansion plan: 2009 to 2013
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