Aviation in China down but future looks good

Chinese airlines have taken a beating recently but the long-term outlook remains favourable, says Liu Shaocheng, director of the aviation regulator’s research office, at a conference in Beijing. He said that there had been a net loss of around 4.2 billion yuan (approximately US$70 million) in the 10 months up to October due to natural disasters, security controls for the Olympics and the weakening global economy.

However, China’s booming economy will drive the aviation industry over the next decade. Over the last ten months domestic cargo traffic rose 1.9 per cent to 2.38 million tonnes while international went up 5.8 per cent to 1.01 million tonnes. He said rising international trade, the development of Chinese-made large aircraft, alliance-building and liberalisation will boost cargo traffic.

Liu forecast that China would have a total fleet of 1,550 aircraft and 190 airports across the country by 2010 growing to 4,500 aircraft and 245 airports by 2020.

Liu added that China needs to develop its aero-leasing market, and that policy adjustments should be made to support the sector.

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