Lucky Air is China’s fastest-growing airline; over five million passengers expected this year for Hainan Airlines subsidiary

A sign of things to come? Lucky Air, China’s 14th biggest but fastest-growing airline, launched its first ever scheduled international service to Singapore Changi Airport on 25 January 2014. Last week it also began flights to Koh Samui in Thailand. (Source: Changi Airport Group and Lucky Air)

Lucky Air is currently the 14th busiest airline ranked on seats offered from Chinese airports, but also the fastest-growing with year-on-year capacity up by around 20%. Operating since 2006 and 40% owned by Hainan Airlines Group, the airline is based at Kunming Changshui International Airport, China’s seventh busiest airport handling almost 30 million passengers in 2013. Earlier this year Lucky Air launched its first international route from Guiyang to Singapore, and last week launched flights from Kunming to Koh Samui in Thailand.

The airline’s fleet currently comprises 26 aircraft: 11 737-700s, eight 737-800s, three A319s and four A320s. The airline has confirmed to that it handled 4.7 million passengers in 2013 and expects to increase that by around 14% in 2014 to 5.3 million. Its home base of Kunming is by far the busiest airport on its network, but has only seen year-on-year growth of around 5% as much of the airline’s expansion has taken place elsewhere.

Chart - Lucky Air top 12 airports Weekly departing seats in Sep 2014

Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 8 September 2014 and w/c 9 September 2013.

Lucky Air is the second biggest carrier at Kunming, with around 11% of seat capacity, operating around 50 daily departures. China Eastern Airlines is over three times bigger at Kunming, with around 180 daily departures and approximately 42% of weekly seats.

Lucky Air launches over 20 new routes in last year

According to’s analysis of Innovata / Diio Mi schedule data, the airline’s network has grown from 49 routes in September 2013 to 68 this September. The majority of new routes have been started with daily flights. A small number of routes have also been suspended either temporarily, or indefinitely.

Launch From To A/c (WF)
27 Oct Lijiang (LJG) Zhengzhou (CGO) A319 (7)
27 Oct Ningbo (NGB) Yichang (YIH) B738 (7)
27 Oct Guiyang (KUW) Xuzhou (XUZ) A319 (4)
27 Oct Lijiang (LJG) Taiyuan (TYN) A319 (4)
29 Oct Changsha (CSX) Nanjing (NKG) A319 (3)
01 Nov Urumqi (URC) Xining (XNN) B737 (7)
01 Nov Kunming (KMG) Xining (XNN) B737 (7)
30 Dec Kunming (KMG) Ganzhou (KOW) B737 (7)
30 Dec Hangzhou (HGH) Ganzhou (KOW) B737 (7)
25 Jan Guiyang (KWE) Singapore (SIN) A320 (2)
15 Mar Chengdu (CTU) Jiuzhaigou (JZH) B737 (7)
20 Mar Lijiang (LJG) Shenzhen (SZX) A319 (7)
30 Mar Lijiang (LJG) Wuhan (WUH) A320 (7)
30 Mar Lijiang (LJG) Xi’an (XIY) A320 (7)
20 Apr Hefei (HFE) Lijiang (LJG) A319 (7)
20 Apr Hefei (HFE) Shanghai Pudong (PVG) A319 (7)
16 May Chengdu (CTU) Dali (DLU) B737 (7)
18 May Wuhan (WUH) Enshi (ENH) B738 (7)
01 Jun Wuhan (WUH) Jiuzhaigou (JZH) B737 (7)
10 Jul Lijiang (LJG) Yichang (YIH) A320 (3)
12 Aug Kunming (KMG) Koh Samui (USM) A319 (3)
24 Aug Kunming (KMG) Taichung (RMQ) B738 (1)
Source:’s New Route Database
Lucky Air’s fleet currently comprises 26 aircraft

Lucky Air’s fleet currently comprises 26 aircraft, including four A320s, one of which is seen here at Singapore Changi Airport after the airline’s first international service on 25 January 2014. (Source: Changi Airport Group)


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