Nanjing Airport set to pass 20 million mark in 2016; only long-haul routes are Frankfurt, Los Angeles and Sydney; China Eastern #1 carrier
Nanjing Lukou International Airport is set to become the 12th Chinese airport to handle 20 million passengers in a single year. Last year the airport handled almost 19.2 million passengers, an increase of 17.7% on 2014, and according to the airport’s website traffic in the first half of 2016 has grown by 17.4% to over 10.6 million. Nanjing, located some 300 kilometres west of Shanghai, has a population of some eight million people and is the capital of the Jiangsu province. Passenger numbers at the airport have more than doubled in the last seven years. As recently as 2003 the airport, which opened in 1997, was handling just 3.5 million passengers. According to OAG data 89% of the airport’s seat capacity in 2015 was on domestic routes while a further 5% was to Hong Kong and Taiwan. For 2016 the domestic share is virtually unchanged but the Hong Kong/Taiwan share has fallen slightly to 4%.
China Eastern Airlines is biggest carrier at Nanjing
This summer some 40 airlines are serving Nanjing. SkyTeam member China Eastern Airlines is the biggest carrier at the airport accounting for around 26% of weekly seat capacity. Star Alliance carrier Shenzhen Airlines is second with around 13% of seats followed by another SkyTeam carrier in the form of China Southern Airlines with 12%. Not surprisingly the top 15 airlines are all based in mainland China. The leading non-Chinese carriers are Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines and Thai Lion Air, each of which operates two daily flights to the airport. Thai Lion Air is one of several new carriers to serve the airport in the last 12 months. Other recent additions to the airport’s list of carriers are 9 Air, Colorful Guizhou Airlines, Fuzhou Airlines and Juneyao Airlines. Other foreign carriers serving Nanjing include Air Macau, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Lufthansa, NokScoot, Scoot and Thai AirAsia.
At least five carriers competing on all bar one of top 15 routes
The top 15 destinations from Nanjing are all served with at least seven daily flights. The busiest route is the 1,077-kilometre sector to Guangzhou which is served with 18 daily flights operated by five carriers. Impressively, 14 of the top 15 routes are served by at least five different airlines, the exception being Beijing, which is only served by Air China and China Eastern Airlines. According to OAG data a total of 72 destinations were served non-stop in the first week of August.
There are international services to several major destinations in nearby countries including Bangkok, Busan, Fukuoka, Jeju, Kaohsiung, Macau, Okinawa, Osaka, Phuket, Seoul, Shizuoka, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. The airport’s range of long-haul services is currently limited to just three; Lufthansa began Frankfurt flights in 2008, China Eastern Airlines began serving Sydney on 21 December 2012 while the SkyTeam carrier more recently began serving Los Angeles on 30 June 2015.