Market Analysis : India – China

 India and China are fast becoming two world leaders, and are already home to two of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. What do they have in common? We are going to find out.

Passenger services
 For two of the world’s biggest aviation markets, the traffic between India and mainland China are still quite lacklustre. Only five Indian airports have flights to China and just one Indian airline flies between the two countries. China on the other side however has connectivity from six airports and three airlines. On the passenger side, the equation is deeply in China’s side. Let’s have a look at the numbers.

Air China
From Bangalore – Chengdu and Shangahi. Thrice weekly A319.
From Delhi – Beijing. Thrice weekly 763.

Air India
From Mumbai and Delhi – Shanghai. Four times weekly 777-200LR.

China Eastern Airlines
From Kolkata – Kunming. Daily 737.
From Delhi – Shanghai and Beijing. Four times weekly 343.

China Southern Airlines
From Delhi – Guangzhou. Five times weekly 757.

Ethiopian Airlines
From Delhi (service originates in Addis Ababa) – Hangzhou. Five times weekly 763.

Too little than you expected? Here’s how they compare seat-mile wise.

Airline Weekly Frequencies Seat Miles
Air China 6 2781132
Air India 4 2997848
China Eastern 11 3968098
China Southern 5 2227540
Ethiopian 5 3037375

Frequencies listed are weekly one-way. Seat miles are quoted for the longest leg of a through flight (eg: If a flight flies DEL-PVG-PEK, only the total DEL-PVG sector is counted)

 And here’s how they look on a map..


Black – Air China, Red- Air India, Blue – China Eastern, Orange – China Southern, Green – Ethiopian
(Note: Air India also flies the DEL-PEK sector. Invisible on this map due to the overlapping of Air China’s DEL-PEK route.)

Freighter services

 But what about the freighter services? As with the passenger services, the freighter sector too is dominated by the Chinese carriers. However there is more diversity in this arena with a number of overseas carriers plying the market.

Routes from India to China
Etihad Airways
From Kolkata – Guangzhou. Twice weekly A300-600 freighter.

Jade Cargo
From Mumbai – Shenzhen. Thrice weekly Boeing 747-400 freighter.

From Delhi – Guangzhou. Thrice weekly MD-11 freighter.
From Kolkata – Shenzhen. Twice weekly MD-11 freighter.

(There is a lot more competition in the sector from China to India. We will examine more about it closely, in another article in near future.)

And this is how those services appear on a map.


Black – Etihad, Green – Jade Cargo, Yellow – Lufthansa

 With India and China both growing faster than ever before, there is a lot of potential to be realised in this market and it is quite likely that we will soon see some expansion in this market. And it must be said that there is a great market for LCCs of both countries to tap with a fast growing middle class in both countries. What do you think about this market? Let us know in the comments section.

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