8-Dec-2010 10:16 AM

High-speed rail could boost air travel: CAA

CAAC Administrator Li Jiaxiang stated that while airlines will feel cost pressures from high-speed rail competition on some routes, high-speed rail could also help boost air travel in remote landlocked regions (Reuters, 07-Dec-2010). China plans to construct 13,000km of high-speed railway by 2012, more than the rest of the world combined, as it plans to expand its rail network to serve more than 90% of the population by 2020 with a budgeted cost of CNY2 trillion (USD295 million). The plan includes 16,000km of high-speed rail. Separately, General Electric and CSR Corp plans to invest USD50 million in their US based JV for supplying passenger trains for high-speed lines in California and Florida (Bloomberg, 08-Dec-2010). China reportedly plans to break the world high-speed rail record of 574.8 km/h in a trial run next year (Xinhua, 07-Dec-2010). Last week, China set an operating speed record of 486.1km/h on a test run on the Beijing-Shanghai line. 

CAAC: "Railways and airlines are competitors, but they can also compliment each other. Since the Beijing-Tibet railway started operations, air passengers in and out of the capital Lhasa have risen 38%," Li Jiaxiang, Administrator. Source: Reuters, 07-Dec-2010.