Chinese airlines step up international expansion
Major Chinese carriers have accelerated their international expansion as outbound travel continues to grow.
Air China transported 11.2 million passengers on international routes in October, up 23.2% YoY; China Eastern, 12.1 million, up 17.2% YoY; China Southern, 11.6 million, up 19.1% YoY; and Hainan Airlines, 18.7 million, up 57% YoY.
In September, domestic airlines transported 4.2 million passengers on international routes, up 19.9% YoY, which outpaced the 13% growth on domestic routes.
China Eastern opened 13 international routes in the 1H and two more European routes to St. Petersburg and Madrid, in addition to boosting flight frequencies on routes to Europe and the U.S.
Industry analysts point out domestic airlines still need to face severe challenges including overcapacity and shortage of slots and aviation professionals. The Chinese carriers should focus more on profits than market shares when they speed up their international expansion.
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