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China’s aviation industry posts losses of 28 billion yuan
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11:24, March 09, 2009

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China’s entire aviation industry has posted a huge loss of as much as 28 billion yuan for 2008, the biggest loss over the past three decades, revealed by Yang Guoqing, CPPCC member and Vice Minister of the Civil Aviation Administration of China on March 5 at panel discussions during the Second Session of the 11th National Committee of the CPPCC.

Yang said that China’s air traffic volume in 2008 declined sharply, with passenger and freight turnover increasing 2.4 percent and passenger traffic volume rising 3.3 percent. Affected by successive blows, including the ice and snow disaster in southern China, the earthquake and the financial crisis, the entire civil aviation industry in China suffered a loss of 28 billion yuan in 2008.

Yang said that the civil aviation industry is closely related with the economy and is as a barometer of economic development. The civil aviation industry experienced the effects of the financial crisis earlier than other industries. By January this year, the entire industries passenger traffic volume had noticeably picked up, but cargo volume continued to decline. Operations of airline companies have already showed signs of recovery, with profits totaling 40 million yuan in January. The number of passengers traveling on domestic air routes continues to increase but cargo volume continues to decrease. Transport on international air routes has also yet to recover.

“An end to the impact of the financial crisis is yet to be seen and rather than be blindly optimistic, the civil aviation industry must actively cope with the crisis.” Yang suggested that investment in airport construction must be increased this year. Regional airports, mainly built in China’s central and western regions, can boost transport business, improve the aviation transport network and promote local economic development. Meanwhile, overseas construction, investment and cooperation must also be enhanced. Establishing strategies for international aviation development and actively developing international aviation transport are both extremely important to boost tourism, to enhance opening-up to the outside world and to maintain external demand.

According to media reports, affected by oil price hikes in the first half of last year and the sharp decline in oil demand in the second half, the global aviation industry in 2008 reported a net loss of eight billion USD in total.

By People's Daily Online

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