CAAC predicts rapid climb to top echelon of world rankings for the country’s airlines and airports by 2020

China expects three of the country’s airlines to be ranked among the world’s 10 largest by 2020 as demand for Chinese air travel continues to grow at a rapid rate.

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) vice-minister Gao Hongfeng revealed the projection last week at an industry conference in Hong Kong, where he outlined the latest growth plans for the country’s air transport sector.

 Chinese fleet growth 2000- 10


It is hoped that there will be around three Chinese airlines ranked in the top 10 world airlines by revenue passenger kilometres and three Chinese airlines ranking in the top 10 world airlines by operating revenue,” says Gao, referring to the period between 2011 and 2020.

The country’s three main airline groups are Beijing-based Air China, Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines, and Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines. According to sister publication Airline Business’s last world airline rankings survey, for 2004, Air China was 23rd in terms of revenue, while China Southern ranked 31st and China Eastern ranked 38th.

According to Flight’s ACAS database, China’s fleet of civil transport aircraft now stands at 890 aircraft (including Russian/CIS types), compared with just over 500 in 2000. Gao says that by 2010 the fleet should have increased to 1,580 aircraft.

The CAAC will also continue to focus heavily on airport development in the years ahead, says Gao. There are currently 142 civil airports in the country, 25 of which can handle Boeing 747s, but by 2010 there are expected to be 186 civil airports, meaning more than 40 all-new airports will need to be built. “It is anticipated that 140 billion yuan [$17.4 billion] will be invested into the construction of civil airports during the period of the 11th five-year plan,” says Gao, referring to the period between this year and 2010.

By 2020, meanwhile, there are expected to be around 220 commercial airports in China to cater to the strong growth in demand for air travel. The CAAC forecasts 11% annual growth in domestic travel between 2011 and 2020.


Source: Flight International