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Chinese Airlines - October 2018

“China is to be the world’s biggest air-travel market by 2022. Growth in demand for air travel will be driven by the ongoing expansion of Chinese disposable income. Indeed, it is projected that 35% of China’s population will be in the upper-middle-class income bracket or better by 2030, up from just 10% in 2015. In October 2017, the IATA moved forward its forecast by two years that China’s domestic aviation market will overtake the US’ to become the world’s largest by 2022. It expects China to add 921 million new passengers by 2036, bringing total annual passengers to 1.5 billion.”
– Jessica Kelly, Senior Tourism Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • How is the Chinese airline sector structured and which are the key players?
  • How are regulatory aspects impacting the Chinese airline industry?
  • What has been the trend in financial performance of the major Chinese airlines?
  • How competitive is high-speed rail (HSR) with air travel in China?
  • How are LCCs progressing in China and what challenges do they face?
  • What are the trends in distribution for Chinese airlines?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • Data Sources

      • Overview

        • Spending on travel and tourism
          • Mainland China
            • Figure 1: Outlook for spending* on travel & tourism in Mainland China, 2017 & 2018-28
          • Hong Kong
            • Figure 2: Outlook for spending* on travel & tourism in Hong Kong, 2017 & 2018-28
          • Macau
            • Figure 3: Outlook for spending* on travel & tourism in Macau, 2017 & 2018-28
          • Greater China
            • Figure 4: Outlook for spending* on travel & tourism in Greater China, 2017 & 2018-28
          • Tourist arrivals
            • Figure 5: Tourist arrivals* in Greater China (incoming & domestic), 2010-21
          • Foreign vs. domestic
            • Figure 6: Breakdown of domestic & incoming tourist arrivals in the Greater China*, 2011-16
          • Air passenger volumes
            • Figure 7: Air passengers in Greater China*, 2007-20
          • Foreign vs. domestic
            • Figure 8: Breakdown of domestic & incoming air passengers in Greater China*, 2007-15
          • Market shares of airlines
            • Figure 9: Market share of passengers of major Chinese airlines, 2014-15*
          • Top four control 80% of domestic market
          • Recent Market Performance

              • Tonne-kilometres
                • Revenue passenger kilometres
                • In-flight Experience

                  • Passengers allowed to use phones in flight mode
                  • Regulatory Trends

                    • China easing ‘one route, one airline’ policy
                      • Chinese carriers advantaged
                        • Airlines subsidised
                          • China partially deregulates airfares
                            • Airlines raise Beijing-Shanghai economy-class fare by 10%
                              • Route must be served by minimum of five carriers
                              • Distribution Channels

                                • Chinese carriers stop seat selection via intermediaries
                                • Major Legacy Carriers

                                  • Air China
                                    • Overview
                                      • AMECO
                                        • Services at Beijing Airport
                                          • Airline subsidiaries
                                            • Air China Cargo
                                              • Air China Inner Mongolia
                                                • Air Macau
                                                  • Beijing Airlines
                                                    • Dalian Airlines
                                                      • Shenzhen Airlines
                                                        • Current developments
                                                          • Premium ticket revenue and distribution
                                                            • Hub development
                                                              • Fleet
                                                                • Figure 10: Air China’s fleet at 31 December 2017
                                                              • Future fleet development
                                                                • Figure 11: Air China’s projected new & retired passenger aircraft, 2018-20
                                                              • China Eastern
                                                                • Airline subsidiaries
                                                                  • Shanghai Airlines
                                                                    • Figure 12: Shanghai Airlines’ fleet, August 2018
                                                                  • China United Airlines
                                                                    • Figure 13: China United Airlines fleet as of September 2017
                                                                  • Current developments
                                                                    • Frequent-flyer programme
                                                                      • Distribution trends
                                                                        • A joint venture with Japan Airlines
                                                                          • Fleet
                                                                            • Figure 14: China Eastern’s fleet at 31 December 2017
                                                                          • Future fleet development
                                                                            • Figure 15: China Eastern’s future aircraft deliveries & disposals, 2018-20
                                                                          • China Southern
                                                                            • Airline subsidiaries
                                                                              • Figure 16: Details of China Southern’s subsidiaries, 2017
                                                                            • Chongqing Airlines
                                                                              • Guizhou Airlines
                                                                                • Henan Airlines
                                                                                  • Shantou Airlines
                                                                                    • Xiamen Airlines
                                                                                      • Zhuhai Airlines
                                                                                        • Route network
                                                                                          • Current developments
                                                                                            • Traffic and hub trends
                                                                                              • Figure 17: The trend in China Southern’s annual passenger numbers, 2008-17
                                                                                              • Figure 18: Capacity trends at China Southern’s leading hubs, 2018 vs 2017
                                                                                              • Figure 19: China Southern’s top-15 international markets (Q1 2017 versus Q1 2018)
                                                                                            • Streamlining ticket changes and refunds
                                                                                              • Fleet
                                                                                                • Figure 20: China Southern’s fleet as of 31 December 2017
                                                                                              • Future fleet development
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Future deliveries and disposals in China Southern’s fleet, 2017-20
                                                                                              • Cathay Pacific
                                                                                                • Current developments
                                                                                                  • Fleet
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon fleet at 31 December 2017 & 31 December 2016
                                                                                                  • Future fleet development
                                                                                                  • Regional Airlines

                                                                                                    • HNA
                                                                                                      • HNA Aviation
                                                                                                        • Air Chang’an
                                                                                                          • Beijing Capital Airlines
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Beijing Capital Airlines fleet in August 2018
                                                                                                          • Grand China Air
                                                                                                            • GX Airlines (Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines)
                                                                                                              • Hainan Airlines
                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Hainan Airlines’ fleet, August 2018
                                                                                                              • HK Express
                                                                                                                • Figure 25: HK Express’ fleet, January 2018
                                                                                                              • Hong Kong Airlines
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Hong Kong Airlines’ fleet, September 2018
                                                                                                              • Lucky Air (Xiangpeng Aviation)
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Lucky Air’s fleet as of December 2017
                                                                                                              • Suparna Airlines
                                                                                                                • Tianjin Airlines
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Tianjin Airlines’ fleet as of August 2018
                                                                                                                • Urumqi Air
                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Urumqi Air’s fleet, May 2018
                                                                                                                • West Air
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: West Air’s fleet as of 31 December 2017
                                                                                                                • Foreign airline interests
                                                                                                                  • Spring Airlines
                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Spring Airlines’ fleet as of August 2018
                                                                                                                • What Next?

                                                                                                                    • Outbound travel will boost Chinese carriers
                                                                                                                      • China to be world’s biggest air-travel market by 2022
                                                                                                                        • Deregulation to boost earnings of ‘big three’
                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Top 10 domestic routes where fares have been deregulated, 2018
                                                                                                                        • Increasing competition with HSR

                                                                                                                        Chinese Airlines - October 2018

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