Air France, Finnair, LOT, Lufthansa, SAS and Swiss all starting new Chinese routes in 2012

Despite the current issues between the EU and China regarding the adventurous decision to include aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), several airlines have already launched around a dozen new routes between Europe and China this year.

Despite the current issues between the EU and China regarding the adventurous decision to include aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), several airlines have already launched around a dozen new routes between Europe and China this year.

Latest data from the Civil Aviation Administration China (CAAC) reveals that in the first four months of 2012 passenger numbers on Chinese airlines have grown by 9.4% compared with the same period in 2011. Domestic traffic is up 9.2%, while international traffic has grown by 11.7%, helped by an increase of 21.7% in April.

Chinese airlines development Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/07 to 4/12

Source: CAAC

As noted previously, despite the current issues between the EU and China regarding the decision to include aviation in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), several airlines have already launched new routes between Europe and China this year, with more due in the coming weeks.

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

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.

Chinese airports handled 620 million passengers in 2011 (+10%)

Official government statistics have confirmed that passenger numbers passing through China’s airports increased by 10% in 2011 to just over 620 million. There are now a total of 53 airports handling more than one million passengers annually, up from 51 in 2010. The following graph shows the top 15 airports in China, how quickly they grew in 2011 and their nearest equivalent sized airport in the US.

Chart: Top 15 Chinese airports in 2011 Annual passengers (millions) [and growth versus 2010]

Source: CAAC

Of the top 15 airports, one airport (Chongqing) grew by more than 20%, a further two (Xi’an and Xiamen) by more than 15%, and another three (Chengdu, Dalian, Kunming) by more than 10%.


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