Chinese aviation briefs
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Chinese airlines to carry 47.5m pax over New Year
Chinese airlines are expected to carry 47.52 million passengers over the Lunar New Year holiday period. The forecast, which was made by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), covers the period of 4 February to 15 March 2015, and marks an 8% increase compared to last year’s total. In terms of the domestic flights, Chinese airlines will provide 53,000 scheduled weekly services during the 40-day holiday period – an increase of 12,000 weekly flights compared to the regular schedules.
China United Air expands fleet
China United Airlines has taken delivery of four Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The Beijing-based low-cost carrier, which is a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, welcomed the new single-aisle jets arrived in December 2014, boosting its total fleet size to 31 aircraft, including 10 B737-700s and 21 B737-800s. And China United has already used the new aircraft to launch a new route from Beijing to Hengyang, a popular tourist destination in Hunan province.
HK Express adds new fare extras
HK Express has added a range of new ancillary options for passengers. Guests can now pay extra for priority check-in services and to book their in-flight meals in advance, with a 30% discount compared to ordering onboard. The low-cost carrier has also installed a new reservations system, which includes a new seven-day calendar on the flight search page of the airline’s website.
China Eastern adds more Hangzhou flights
China Eastern Airlines is expanding its operations from Hangzhou, with the launch of two new routes. On 29 December, the carrier commenced four weekly flights from Hangzhou to Dali, a popular tourist destination in Yunnan province. This service will run every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using a Boeing 737 aircraft. Then 23 January, China Eastern will launch two weekly flights (Fridays and Sundays) from Hangzhou to Macau, using an Airbus A320 aircraft.
Kunming’s Ruili Airlines spreads wings
Kunming-based start-up carrier, Ruili Airlines, is expanding its domestic operations with the launch of a new route to Jinan, the capital of eastern China’s Shandong province. Commencing on 10 January, the new service will operate daily using a Boeing 737 aircraft. Ruili commenced services in May 2014 and now flies a fleet of four Boeing 737s on eight routes to 10 Chinese cities, including Chengdu, Xi’an, Taiyuan and Hohhot. This year it also plans to launch flights to key cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Chengdu Airport opens remote terminal
Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport has opened a new remote passenger terminal in the city of Dujiangyan – a popular tourist destination in Sichuan province, 60km from Chengdu. The new city terminal is located in Dujiangyan’s visitor centre, and allows passengers to book flights, check-in and take shuttle buses to Chengdu Airport. The airport’s operator is now considering opening more remote terminals in more cities and high-speed train stations across Sichuan province.
Qingdao Airlines to spread wings in 2015
Chinese start-up carrier, Qingdao Airlines, is planning to significantly expand its operations in 2015, with the addition of 15 more routes. The airline, which began operating in 2014, currently operates three Airbus A320 aircraft on routes from the port city of Qingdao, Shandong province, to major cities including Chengdu, Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai. But it will take delivery of a further six A320 aircraft in 2015, enabling it to commence at least 15 new domestic routes. New destinations planned for next year include Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanning, Xi’an, Guiyang and Kunming.
Chongqing-based LCC to go international
A low-cost carrier based in the Chinese city of Chongqing has been granted permission to launch international flights. In a recent statement, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) confirmed that China West Air, which is part-owned Hainan Airlines, will be allowed to expand the scope of its passenger operations to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, plus destinations in Northeast and Southeast Asia. Currently the LCC operates approximately 40 routes from its bases at Chongqing and Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan province, using a fleet of 16 Airbus A320 aircraft.
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