Air China reportedly increased its jet fuel purchases in Aug-2009 to 68,000 barrels per day, the highest level in at least 16 months, following a 40% increase in passenger demand among China’s four major airlines (which account for almost three quarters of China’s aviation market) in the month (Argus, 01-Oct-2009). China's refiners have been adding extra capacity and operating at record levels. Jet-kerosene output rose more than 10% in 1H2009, while diesel output fell by 1%.
Air China increases jet fuel purchases in Aug-2009; China's refiners increase jet kerosene output
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Chinese airlines are turning their focus to Latin America at the direction of their government, which wants a global presence from its airlines. Air China serves São Paulo and Havana (which it considers part of Latin America), and in Apr-2017 China Southern launched Mexico City as a tag from Vancouver. HNA partially owns Brazil's Azul and Portugal's TAP, which HNA can feed into from a forthcoming Beijing-Lisbon flight on the HNA group carrier Beijing Capital Airlines.
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China and France expand flights for airlines, giving China aeropolitical negotiating leverage
China and France have agreed to a significant expansion of flights between their countries. Chinese airlines, which have no more than 50 weekly flights to France, will be permitted to grow to 126 weekly flights within a few years. This tranche of rights will likely double the number of Chinese airlines in France (currently four) and take Chinese airlines to serving French cities other than Paris.
Air France will likely grow partnerships with SkyTeam's China members, although Air France will need to make concessions on its existing China JVs. It is unclear whether Air France will revisit considerations of investing in China Southern.
Chinese airlines will become France's second largest source of foreign long haul flights, and in the long term China could surpass the US. For China, France could become its third largest long haul market after the US and Australia. France is China's third major aeropolitical expansion in recent months, after the UK and Australia. This could give China leverage to press the US and Canada to expand traffic rights, although these markets are far more convoluted.