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Chinese domestic air travel growth up 13% in May; international traffic up just 15% versus 2007

In May, Air China began flying to Athens through Munich, making the Greek capital Air China’s fourth destination in Southern Europe. Chinese international traffic has now slowed down in growth, having experienced a strong recovery last year.

CAAC data for April and May shows that after modest growth in February and March, domestic air travel is once more reporting double-digit growth; 14.0% in April and 12.6% in May. Compared with 2007, domestic traffic in both months is up almost 60%. However, international passenger numbers have reported only marginal growth in each of the last three months; 2.7% in March, 0.9% in April and 1.4% in May. Comparing international traffic in 2011 with that of 2007 reveals that in April and May, international passenger numbers are up just 15% across a four-year period.

Source: CAAC

Source: CAAC

Etihad, Finnair and SAS confirm plans for Chinese routes

Since the beginning of May, a number of new long-haul international services to and from China have been introduced:

  • Air China: Beijing to Athens (via Munich) on 11 May, two flights per week
  • Air China: Beijing to Milan Malpensa on 15 June, three flights per week
  • Alitalia: Rome Fiumicino to Beijing on 1 June, four flights per week
  • Delta: Detroit to Beijing on 1 July, five flights per week
  • Hainan Airlines: Beijing to Zurich on 31 May, three flights per week
  • United Airlines: Los Angeles to Shanghai on 20 May, daily

Other long-haul international routes to China announced recently include:

  • China Eastern: Shanghai Pudong to Honolulu starting on 9 August 2011, two weekly flights
  • China Eastern: Shanghai Pudong to Hamburg (via Frankfurt) starting on 29 August 2011, weekly
  • China Southern: Beijing to Istanbul (via Urumqi) starting on 2 September 2011, three weekly flights
  • Etihad: Abu Dhabi to Chengdu starting 15 December 2011, four weekly flights
  • Etihad: Abu Dhabi to Shanghai Pudong starting 1 March 2012, five flights per week
  • Finnair: Helsinki to Chongqing starting 9 May 2012, four weekly flights
  • Mahan Air: Tehran to Shanghai Pudong starting 2 September 2012, two weekly flights
  • SAS: Copenhagen to Shanghai Pudong starting 1 March 2012, five weekly flights

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