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Chinese airline consolidation: Second tier airlines in the sights of the 'Big Four'


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. [6473 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Capital Airlines shifting to business focus
  • Chengdu Airlines to have fleet of 40 aircraft by 2015
  • China Express Airlines under going comprehensive review and reorganisation
  • China United Airlines celebrating fifth anniversary
  • Grand China Air
  • Hebei Airlines (formerly Northeast Airlines) relaunches in Jun-2010; Plans to be ‘Top Five’ carrier by 2020
  • Henan Airlines – Grounded by fatal air crash in Aug-2010; Had been hoping to shake up the regional Chiense market
  • Joy Air – Signing strategic agreements to establish regional hubs
  • Juneyao Airlines to launch international services
  • Lucky Air passengers up 22%
  • Okay Airways makes profit in 1H2010
  • Shandong Airlines witnessing continued profit growth
  • Shanghai Airlines benefiting China Eastern Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines now China’s fourth largest carrier
  • Sichuan Airlines planning to expand international presence and size
  • Spring Airlines putting pressure on full service carriers
  • Tianjin Airlines – a fast-growing regional carrier with plans for a 150-aircraft fleet by 2013
  • West Air continues to expand from Chongqing
  • Xiamen Airlines notches 23 consecutive years of profitability

Graphs and data:

  • China domestic capacity breakdown by carrier (seats per week and as % of total): Independent carriers in bold
  • Second-tier carriers passenger numbers: Aug-2008 to Aug-2010
  • Beijing Capital Airport capacity share by carrier
  • Chengdu Airlines route changes
  • China Express network capacity share (%) by destination: Oct-2010
  • Grand China Air network capacity share (%) by destination: Oct-2010
  • Kunming capacity share by carrier
  • Shandong Airlines route changes
  • Shandong Airlines net margin: 2006 to 3Q2010
  • Shandong Airlines passenger numbers growth and revenue growth: 2006 to 1H2010
  • Shandong Airlines passenger numbers: 2006 to 1H2010
  • Shenzhen capacity share by carrier
  • Sichuan Airlines route changes
  • Tianjin Airlines route changes
  • West Air route changes
  • Chongqing capacity share by carrier
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