China's Shanghai Airport Authority announced (04-Sep-2013) Shanghai Pudong International Airport handled more than one million transit passengers in 1H2013, an increase of 11% year-on-year, and expects to handle more passengers this year as domestic and foreign carriers begin to deploy larger aircraft including the A380 on services to Shanghai. Transit passengers as a portion of total passengers exceeded 9% for the first time. The airport's summer passengers reached record highs this year while average daily aircraft movements also reached records of 1120 and passenger load factor remained high during the summer. The airport operator noted Emirates, the first carrier to operate A380 services to Shanghai, increased frequencies to the airport to daily during summer, Air France launched A380 Paris-Shanghai service on 03-Sep-2013, Lufthansa is scheduled to operate A380 on its Frankfurt-Shanghai sector from 26-Sep-2013 while Singapore Airlines recently announced plans to operate A380 services to Shanghai in the coming winter schedules. Shanghai Pudong currently has two category 4F runways and three aerobridges that are able to accommodate the A380. Meanwhile, with the launch of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort, the airport stated it expects to handle more passengers as it embarks on becoming an air traffic hub in the Asia Pacific region. The airport said is is currently undertaking upgrades to terminal one while the design for terminal two upgrades has been finalised, both of which will allow the airport to handle more A380 flights and transit passengers. [more - original PR - Chinese]
Shanghai Pudong International Airport preparing for the arrival of more A380 services
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Lufthansa and Etihad bedfellows - at last - but unions may make marriage a distant prospect
There can be no understating the symbolic change in mindset of Lufthansa agreeing to partner with Etihad. Lufthansa has spent the better part of a decade rallying against Gulf airlines to the press, lobbying in Europe's power corridors and seeking a range of aeropolitical measures to wind back new competitors. Etihad has been the prime target for its investment and ongoing top-ups in a range of European airlines including Lufthansa's home competitor, the failing airberlin. Despite that, it is not well known that the two have come close to a liaison before, suggesting that each sees an intrinsic logic in a relationship.
The partnership has potential to be more significant than Emirates-Qantas, Qatar-IAG or Etihad-AF-KLM. But for now it is limited in scope and caution should be exercised in extrapolating too far at this stage.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is seeking new growth platforms that sidestep the flagship business' uncompromising unions who would seemingly prefer a status quo that exists only in memory. Their support will be necessary if the partnership is to work and grow. Then Lufthansa, which has rallied the Star Alliance and JV partners against Gulf airlines, will need to explain its change of heart. For now Lufthansa will not partner on Etihad's beyond-Abu Dhabi network, a move that would embrace the fundamental business plan of Etihad and peers. That upside remains a matter for speculation.
EU-Gulf open skies negotiations: Qatar CEO Al Baker warns of biased 'fair competition' definition
As the US-Gulf airline dispute loses momentum with the American government, the big Middle East aeropolitical debate will now shift across the Atlantic to Europe, where the European Commission has a mandate to try to negotiate an open skies agreement with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as other countries/blocs, including Turkey and ASEAN.
Qatar Airways CEO H.E. Akbar Al Baker gave a keynote presentation at the recent CAPA-ACTE Global Aviation Summit in Amsterdam and addressed the subject of the EU mandate. Mr Al Baker called for unquestionable third and fourth freedom liberalisation and eventual fifth freedom liberalisation. The devil as always is in the detail; the non-EU airlines in the negotiations are sceptical about how the EU will define a "fair competition" clause, and whether it will be left abstract enough that "fair competition" could potentially be used against airlines in a way they have not envisaged. The Brexit referendum could result in the EU negotiating side losing the UK, whose liberal views have balanced those of the more protectionist France and Germany.