It’s true that China’s economy seems to be slowing down but there’s still plenty of good news when it comes to air travel. China continues to be one of the stand-out countries in terms of the pace of growth of air services. This means that the choice of destinations and airlines continues to expand for China’s adventurous travellers.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economy will grow by 6.3% in 2018 and 6.0% in 2020. This may be down on the heady growth of 2010 when GDP grew by double digits, but compared to the other leading world economies, China is still almost at full steam ahead.
The impact of growth of 6% or 7% is all the more because of the sheer size of the Chinese economy. Taken together, GDP and GDP growth make China a juggernaut of a country, moving every market it touches. Plotted on the same chart, alongside some of the other world-leading economies, China stands out.
It should be no surprise, then, that aviation is still booming. Decades of analysis and scrutiny has demonstrated that in general aviation growth tracks economic growth. When consumers feel their discretionary spending edge upwards, travel is near the top of the list of purchases. The urge to travel just won’t go away.
This is why the number of flights taking off from China’s airports is on the up. In 2018 China increased the number of scheduled flights by more than any other country by some margin. The number of flights grew by 7.9% while the overall capacity – or seats – on those planes was up by 11.1%. The reason capacity can grow faster than flights is that as demand continues to shoot up, the nation’s airlines are choosing to fly with bigger aircraft.
So, while business may look at the economy with angst, it’s good news for travellers. More destinations. More choice. More fulfilling dreams.