Suddenly China wobbles as well (but only for a moment)

China site logo.JPG

Here at Flight I’ve been managing the launch of a website in Chinese aimed at China’s air transport business. We publish about 10 stories a day and it’s been impossible to ignore the fact that all of a sudden some of them have contained some startling statistics for the month of May.

First there were the traffic figures for Beijing International airport – passenger numbers down 2.9%. Then Air China – passengers down 10.7%, RPKs down 6.7%. China Southern turned up with flat passenger numbers and RPKs up a miserable (by Chinese standards) 1%. China Eastern followed with passenger numbers down 8.1%

Today Bloomberg is reporting that China has raised jetfuel prices by 25% and that, as soon as that happened, stock in China Southern and Air China dropped by about 8%. Ouch! And they wheeled out a couple of analysts to pour gloom over the outlook.

Fair enough – but I wonder about all this. Here are a few more stats: although Beijing’s passenger traffic took a knock, that disguises the fact that while May domestic traffic fell, international traffic rose 5.8%. And freight throughput was up 32%!

Similarily, Air China passenger traffic fell but freight (by freight-tonne-kilometres) rose 2.9%; and China Eastern freight was up 11%.

Much of the dip in passenger traffic was in fact due to the recent earthquake, although as Bloomberg correctly points out, Chinese inflation is a serious issue. And all in all it’s not clear to me that the Chinese air transport juggernaut is suffering much more than a blip. The June figures will be educational though.

, , ,

One Response to Suddenly China wobbles as well (but only for a moment)

  1. andy ganley July 3, 2008 at 5:01 pm #

    The quicker this blip fills the radar screen
    the better,the world is more then peed off at the avalanche of tacky chinese goods flooding the worlds market,racking up their trade balance[how many trillions is it now?] while the rest of us suffer raging oil prices etc.

Leave a Reply