China Expects to Become Strong Aviation Nation by 2020

China will progress from a large to a strong aviation nation by the end of 2020. China's aviation industry is expected to maintain an average annual growth rate of 10 percent, based on its seven percent economic increase. By the end of 2020, China's aviation turnover will reach 84 billion ton kilometers, ranking second in the world, said CAAC Director Yang Yuanyuan at a work meeting.

Yang proposed a series of objectives needed to reach the goal, including international passenger turnover ranking among the top 10, establishing more than one Asia-Pacific hub airports and at least three airline companies ranking among top 20 in the world.

Industry More Open
China's aviation industry became more open through the use of 80 million US dollars worth of foreign capital last year, according to the director of CAAC.

China implemented new rules on foreign investment in the civil aviation industry last year, including investment areas and shares, said Yang.

China approved eight projects for foreign investment and four projects for domestic investment overseas, he said in Beijing Thursday during an annual meeting.

China's ties with other countries in the civil aviation industry continued to grow steadily. It formally signed aviation agreements with Tunis and Luxembourg. So far, China has signed 89 such agreements with other countries.

Airline companies made progress in restructuring, Yang said, with Shanghai Airlines issuing A shares and Meilan Airport in Hainan Province issuing H shares overseas.

Turnover Takes off
China's aviation industry turnover reached 16.2 billion-ton kilometers in 2002, up 14.9 percent compared with the previous year.

The rapid development of domestic and foreign trade as well as tourism stimulated the aviation demand last year. The total number of passengers reached 84.25 million and cargo reached 1.98 million tons, up 12 and 15.8 percent respectively compared with the previous year, said Yang.

He said that the growth of international routes was faster than that of domestic routes and the increase in cargo business was faster than that of passengers last year.

Air Ticket Reform in 2003
China will reform its air ticket pricing in the first half of 2003, the director said. The reform will implement government-guided pricing for airline companies. The State Development Planning Commission and the CAAC will determine basic prices and fluctuation rates, Yang said.

Airline companies will set up a multi-level air ticket system and sell tickets at different prices according to different purchase time, high or low season, number of tickets and flight time, he said.

People's Daily Online ---