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Chinese carrier pax traffic to exceed 300 million in FY2012 as double-digit pax growth returns


China’s aviation market is poised for a memorable year in 2012, as Beijing likely eclipses Atlanta as the world’s busiest airport (expected in 2H2012) and double-digit traffic growth rates return. Chinese carriers are expected to report a 10% increase in passenger traffic this year to 320 million passengers, according to industry regulator, the CAAC, following growth of 9.2% in 2011.

Some 21 airports in China handled more than 10 million passengers in 2011, five more than 2010 – and more are expected to join the ‘10 million+ club’ in 2012. Eight Chinese airports handled more than 20 million passengers last year. 10 years ago, Beijing was the only Mainland Chinese airport handling over 20 million passengers (with 24.2 million passengers in 2001), while Guangzhou Baiyun and Shanghai Hongqiao (both with 13.8 million passengers) were the only two other airports in China with over 15 million annual passengers. [1928 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Growth of around 10% expected by the ‘Big Three’ in 2012, but strategies vary
  • Chinese airlines handle 292 million pax in 2011
  • Chinese air freight market was soft
  • China market expected to double every seven to eight years
  • Chinese domestic demand ‘sold’ in 2011 with strengthening load factors helping profitability: IATA

Graphs and data:

  • Chinese airport (select) 2011 passenger traffic (mill) and year-on-year growth
  • Select Chinese carrier passenger numbers (000s) in 2011
  • CAAC passenger numbers and growth forecast: 2003 to 2030F
  • CAAC freight traffic (million tonnes) and growth forecast: 2003 to 2015F
  • China domestic (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) annual capacity (seats): 2002 to 2011
  • China international (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) annual capacity (seats): 2002 to 2011
  • CAAC domestic passenger growth vs international passenger growth: Jan-2010 to Dec-2011
  • CAAC passenger numbers growth vs cargo volume growth: Jan-2010 to Dec-2011
  • Air China, China Eastern and China Southern traffic highlights: FY2011
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