Baiyun Airport debuts domestic flight slot auction
Baiyun Airport held the first-ever auction for its domestic flight slots with nine scheduled slots sold in four hours at Guangdong Materials Group Corp headquarters.
Baiyun Airport held the first-ever auction for its domestic flight slots on December 30. Nine scheduled slots were sold during the four-hour auction held at the Guangdong Materials Group Corp headquarters. The highest bid at RMB90.99 million went to the slot for landing at 14:00 and takeoff at 15:00.
Among the the nine auctioned slots, the earliest landing time is at 10:00 and the latest landing is at 20:00 while the earliest takeoff is at 11:00 and the latest is at 21:00[V1] . Each auctioned unit combines a landing slot and a takeoff slot with a one-hour gap in between. The scheduled slots are to be used for domestic regional air routes and are valid for three years.
Following are the buyers and prices of the nine slots
Slot 1: Guizhou Airlines (China Southern subsidiary) RMB30.0001 million
Slot 2: Shenzhen Airlines RMB26.15 million
Slot 3: Zhuhai Airlines (China Southern subsidiary) RMB81 million
Slot 4: Urumqi Air (Hainan Airlines subsidiary) 90.99 million
Slot 5: China Eastern Airlines RMB90.3 million
Slot 6: Henan Airlines (China Southern subsidiary) RMB90 million
Slot 7: Shenzhen Airlines RMB90.090 million
Slot 8: Xiamen Airlines RMB30.0001 million
Slot 9: Zhuhai Airlines (China Southern subsidiary) RMB30.0001 million
Using hired cars and carparks as an analogy, one aviation expert said the amount of time that hired cars are allowed into carparks to pick up passengers indicates the level of business hired cars will get, and how many cars a carpark can accommodate is up to the administration authority. In the case of aviation, the authority is the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
Guangcai Liu, the head of the Civil Aviation Policy and Regulations Research Center at the Civil Aviation University of China, said China’s domestic flight slots allocation and management are completely State-controlled. This allocation system can ensure stable flight schedules to facilitate long-term planning by carriers, but it also gives rise to various problems such as major carriers, especially the airport’s home carriers, monopolizing flight slots in certain airports. This causes time wastage from time slots hoarding, and enables major carriers to manipulate market entry making use of time slots.
Flight slots and flight routes have also been linked to a string of corruption scandals involving airlines officials and CAAC officials. To rectify this situation, the CAAC has earlier declared it is taking steps to stop the rampant abuse of power. More importantly, it is conducting trials in certain areas to find the best models for fairer flight slot allocation.（Translation by David)