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Chinese airlines report 9.2% domestic growth in 2011

Of the 11 European routes launched or due to launch to China this year, Swiss was first with its daily service between Zurich and Beijing in February.

Of the 11 European routes launched or due to launch to China this year, Swiss was first with its daily service between Zurich and Beijing in February. Its fellow Star Alliance airlines LOT Polish and Air China will also connect the Chinese capital with Warsaw and London Gatwick later in the year.

Figures from the Civil Aviation Administration China (CAAC) reveal that Chinese airlines carried over 270 million passengers on domestic flights in 2011, an increase of 9.2% over 2010. The number of passengers carried by Chinese airlines on international flights rose by 8.8% to just over 21 million in 2011. Aircraft also flew with fewer empty seats as average load factor for the year improved by 1.7 percentage points to 81.9%.

Chinese airlines development Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/07 to 1/12

Source: CAAC

So far in 2012 domestic traffic was up 13.4% in January, while international demand grew by 11.1%.

Wide range of new European services starting this year

The Chinese authorities may have issues with the decision by the EU to include aviation in its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), but that has not stopped airlines wanting to start new non-stop services between Europe and China. The following new services are currently planned for 2012, with a few having already started.

  • Air China: Shanghai Pudong to Paris CDG resumed 10 March, 5 flights per week
  • Air China: Beijing to London Gatwick starting 2 May, 4 flights per week
  • Air France: Paris CDG to Wuhan starting 11 April, 3 flights per week
  • China Southern: Guangzhou to London Heathrow starting 6 June, 3 weekly flights
  • Etihad: Abu Dhabi to Shanghai Pudong started 1 March, five flights per week
  • Finnair: Helsinki to Chongqing starting 9 May, four weekly flights
  • LOT Polish Airlines: Warsaw to Beijing starting 29 May, 3 weekly flights
  • Lufthansa: Frankfurt to Shenyang starting 26 March, 3 weekly flights
  • Lufthansa: Frankfurt to Qingdao (via Shenyang) starting 26 March, 3 weekly flights
  • SAS: Copenhagen to Shanghai Pudong started 1 March, five weekly flights
  • Swiss: Zurich to Beijing started 11 February, daily

Apart from the two main international cities of Beijing and Shanghai there are also flights to and from Europe from Chongqing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Shenyang and Wuhan.


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