Spring Airlines targets China's ascendant middle class
Spring Airlines, China's largest budget carrier, is determined to meet growing demand for affordable travel —— but not necessarily by flying solo
In an interview on the sidelines of the Asia300 Global Business Forum in Bangkok recently, Chairman Yu Wang spoke about Chinese vacationers' changing habits and the rise of the country's middle class, which is estimated at more than 200 million. Noting that the Chinese budget market is still underserved, he expressed a willingness to work with foreign airlines and other partners to seize the opportunity.
“I think there are more than 200 million people who belong to this class. Even in third-tier cities, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have joined the middle class.” said Wang.
“Unlike older generations, these newly rich tend to do things by themselves. When they go abroad, this digital-savvy class travels individually or in a small group.”
The purpose of travel has also changed, from sightseeing to just doing nothing but relax. Some demand something else —— not materialism but to learn about cultures. Twenty years ago, people went to big cities in Japan, but today, young people go to the countryside. It is the same in Thailand and other countries. There are more choices for destinations.
Wang believes that budget air is the future of the short-haul market. “Today, no-frills carriers only occupy about 8% of the market, compared with 50% in Southeast Asia. There is huge potential”.
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