China Eastern Airlines will focus on improving operations at its Shanghai Pudong hub, with the aim of growing its share of international transfer traffic. 

In a stock exchange filing on 19 June, the SkyTeam member said it aims to ramp-up flights to and from Shanghai Pudong on both trunk routes, as well as to smaller cities. This, it states, will “accelerate the construction” of an “appropriate” network structure of a “super carrier”. 

Airbus A320

Source: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock

China Eastern did not provide specific examples on how it intends to do so, but points out that in 2023 it launched more than 20 international routes under the auspices of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ infrastructure project. These include Shanghai Pudong-Istanbul and Shanghai Pudong-Cairo. 

The filing was prepared in response to the Shanghai exchange’s call on listed companies to “improve quality and efficiency and emphasise returns”. The update also comes more than a year since China’s borders reopened, though its international recovery still remains lukewarm. Chinese carriers — including China Eastern – remain in the red though they dramatically cut their operating losses in the 2023 calendar year. 

China Eastern has also vowed to “strengthen cost control” during the year, adding that it will “deepen comprehensive budget management”. 

“The company will flexibly deploy resources to improve market competitiveness… [and] will do market planning, resources acquisition and capacity deployment in advance; grasp overseas markets, deepen foreign cooperation and expand its scope, and develop overseas group customer market,” says China Eastern. 

Most recently, the airline signed a joint venture agreement to deepen its partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways. The agreement allows both carriers to “jointly develop and grow the routes between the United Arab Emirates and China”, they said on 12 June.