|Northwest launched Detroit-Shanghai services earlier this month. The route is operated four times weekly using a 747-400.|
Demand for air travel within China continues to report strong double-digit growth in 2009. In each of the first four months domestic passenger numbers were up by over 15%.
International traffic, which had been growing by more than 10% throughout 2007 and for the first two months of 2008, continues to be down between 10% and 20% although the latest figures for March and April show the smallest decline since last May. Since Chinese airline traffic is dominated by domestic demand, overall demand is up around 13% for each of the last three months. The dip last August was when Beijing held the summer Olympics.
Passenger numbers on Chinese airlines in April reached a new record of 18.834 million, beating the previous record of 18.344 million from last October.
Load factors in the first four months of this year are broadly similar to those reported in the corresponding period in 2008.