24-Feb-2011 3:54 PM

China to invest USD230bn in aviation

CAAC stated China will add more than 45 airports over the next five years for a total of more than 220 airports, according to Administrator Li Jiaxiang (Xinhua/Reuters/Bloomberg/Dow Jones/China Knowledge, 24-Feb-2011). The government will invest CNY1.5 trillion (USD230 billion) in the aviation sector in the period to 2015 as it expects passenger number and fleet size to almost double. The carrier stated it is planning four major hubs as part of this expansion to link more remote regions in the far west. Meanwhile, around 130 of the existing 175 airports in China are loss-making, with a combined loss of CNY1.68 billion (USD255 million), according to CAAC. Government subsidies for airports amounted to CNY6 billion (USD912 million) from 2006 to 2010.  CAAC expects China to have around 5000 aircraft and handle 450 million passengers p/a by 2015. The country operated a fleet of 2600 aircraft and transported around 267 million passengers in 2010. Mr Li encouraged private participation in the industry to help meet demand for more services and infrastructure. Mr Li stated that of China's 43 carriers, 33 are state-controlled. He stated three new private carriers have submitted applications for launch.

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