Chinese air traffic surges to new all-time high; international traffic growing once more

Image: 60th anniversary
Spontaneous outbreaks of joy in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. There was further cause for celebration with the news that domestic traffic was up 43.5% in August.

Demand for air travel within China continues to grow impressively. Latest figures for August show a 43.5% increase in domestic traffic and a 17.4% increase in international passengers compared with last year. However, these figures are rather exaggerated by comparison with 2008 when traffic was down due to the security measures put in place for the Olympics in Beijing. A more sensible comparison may be with August 2007. Doing this reveals that domestic traffic is up 28% versus two years ago while international traffic is still down 13%. However, overall traffic is up 24% as international demand is much lower than domestic demand. For July the corresponding figures were +24%, -20% and +20%.

Chart: Airline development
Source: CAAC

A record 22.6 million passengers travelled on Chinese airlines in August, beating the previous record set last month of 21.0 million.

Chart: Pax 2007 to 2009
Source: CAAC

The average load factor in August of 79.9%, though up over eight percentage points from last August, is still below the record of 81.4% achieved in August 2007.

Chart: Load factor
Source: CAAC


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