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Kunming Airlines is a Chinese carrier based in Kunming, Yunan, China. The carrier was founded in 2005 and operates scheduled services from its base at Kunming International Airport. Kunming Airlines operates a fleet of narrow body equipment and is 80% owned by Sichuan Airlines.
Location of Kunming Airlines main hub (Kunming Airport)
9 total articles
Lucky Air to be China's first long haul LCC, to Europe/N America in 2016; China international up 29%
There are debates about impacts from China's "new normal" of slower growth. Yet from an aviation perspective, it so far remains evident that aviation is not as impacted – despite the typical correlation between traffic growth and GDP. Chinese traffic is heavily leisure-oriented; China's middle class is growing; thirst for international travel is expanding; visa liberalisation continues to improve and foreign countries (and their airports) are embracing of Chinese visitors. All these factors make travel easier, and the Chinese government is encouraging – sometimes by force – for its airlines to "go out".
The first four months of 2016 experienced a smaller growth rate of 29% compared with 4M2015's 40% increase, but the net addition of passengers in 2016 so far is larger than in 2015. The international market is becoming more crowded with new operators.
The latest will be Lucky Air – the Kunming-based LCC division of the HNA Group and U-FLY Alliance. Lucky intends to deploy 787-9s to Europe and North America by the end of 2016.
'Luck' may be in its name but Chinese carrier Lucky Air is not leaving its future entirely to fate. The Kunming-based carrier is expected to transition to the low-cost model, following the Chinese government's rapid rise in LCC interest.
With a southwestern base and route network concentrated on secondary cities, fare premiums are hard to attain. Lucky Air hopes to differentiate itself in China's often dated and monotonous airline branding, and so has introduced a new logo, becoming the latest HNA-affiliated airline to re-brand.
Lucky Air is one of two Chinese carriers granted international traffic rights at Kunming and there is the prospect for further international growth, mostly to South and Southeast Asia. If it is to be serious about addressing costs, Lucky Air will need to look at its fleet, a mix of 737s and A320s. Its 26 aircraft fleet could grow to 70 by 2020, including possibly widebody aircraft within three years, the carrier announced at the Routes Asia forum in Kunming.
Significant expansion is under way at Kunming Airport following the opening of the airport's new facility in Jun-2012. As the seventh largest airport in China by passenger numbers (50th in the world – larger than Barcelona El Prat, Boston or London Gatwick) and fourth largest by physical size, Kunming is the capital of expansive Yunnan province, a hub for tourism and a key gateway for South and Southeast Asia. LCC AirAsia has launched a new flight while Singapore Airlines subsidiary SilkAir has increased service.
Kunming has organic O&D traffic flows but also great potential to be a hub for passengers going to Southeast Asia from either China or on long-haul sixth freedom flows Chinese carriers are increasingly targeting. China Eastern, which has a base in Kunming and is the largest carrier there, is mounting a rare aggressive expansion plan after primarily focusing on its merger and enhanced position in Shanghai.
Private carriers Juneyao and Spring Airlines want to establish a base, but many are finding the airport is already running out of slots. Before the airport becomes mainstream, future entrants may be locked out.
Shenzhen Airlines is planning to grow its fleet to over 170 aircraft by the end of 2015 as it taps into rapid growth in its home market as well six other regional bases across China. Over the same time period Shenzhen Airlines plans to expand its fledgling international network to over 20 routes.
China’s fragmented airline industry is undergoing a shakeup. Merger and acquisition activity is intense – probably more so than any other aviation market in the world. In the space of a few short years, the majority of China’s second tier airlines have, at least partially, become owned or controlled by one of the "Big Three" carriers and/or HNA Group, as consolidation accelerates in China. In this report, CAPA reviews what’s fuelling the feeding frenzy and who the targets are.
China’s 'big three' airports - Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai - may be exhibiting a strong rebound in demand, but some truly breathtaking activity is occurring at China’s second tier airports. Growth rates of 25% and above are commonplace, as are extensive upgrade and expansion projects to keep up with galloping demand. A battle is meanwhile unfolding between airports in Western China for the mantle of that region’s pre-eminent hub, while airlines are adjusting their strategies for serving China’s burgeoning second-tier airport network in the face of rising competition from high speed rail.