China aviation: consolidation & possible emergence of a single airline?

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A major shuffling in leadership positions at major Chinese airlines has sparked speculation that China is on the cusp of major change that could have ramifications for the global industry. 

New leaders have been appointed at China Eastern and China Southern. China Southern’s new leader is from rival China Eastern while China Eastern’s new leader is from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). China Southern’s previous leader has left for the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).

It is not usual for executives to rotate between state-owned airlines in China, the regulator or manufacturers. However, there is speculation that this time the changes could lead to consolidation and the emergence of a “super carrier” for China’s fragmented international market.

This brief analysis is a teaser for CAPA's forthcoming Special Report: "The future shape of China's aviation".

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