China Southern Airlines launches "air express route"

13:08, November 17, 2009      

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"We have opened 'an air express route', and will continue to open more," Si Xianmin, president of China Southern Airlines said yesterday. The company will launch more air express routes between cities in China so as to compete with high-speed railway connections.

According to his introduction, China Southern has opened the "Guangzhou – Changsha" Air Express Route. One flight leaves Changsha every hour, and in total 12 flights leave per day. The airline offers exclusive check-in counters, a dedicated security channel, and exclusive services such as a baggage claim area for passengers, which makes it more efficient and convenient.

"Since the 'Guangzhou - Changsha' route has run well over the last month, and passenger numbers are high, we will soon launch 'Guangzhou – Wuhan' Air Express Route" the official stated.

Wuhan-Guangzhou passenger high-speed railway line with a total investment of more than 100 billion yuan will be opened to traffic on December 20 after over four years of construction. The length of line amounts to over 1,000 km, with a designed speed is 350 km/h, and its maximum speed capable of reaching up to 380 km/h. A journey from Wuhan to Guangzhou will be shortened from 10.5 hours to 3 hours.

"Opening air express routes is one way to combat the impact from high-speed railway," said an insider. A voyage of two hours by aircraft certainly has an advantage. At present, the most competitive edge for airlines over high-speed railway focuses on the1 and 1.5 hour journeys. For example, it takes about an hour to fly from Changsha to Guangzhou, and 1.5 hours from Wuhan to Guangzhou.

The official ticketing website of China Southern Airlines shows that the lowest fare from Wuhan to Guangzhou is 280 yuan on the condition of booking a month ahead. Si introduced that opening air express routes did not actually significantly lower prices, but increased the density of flights in order to attract passengers.

China Southern Airlines will extend air express routes to the whole of Southeast Asia, Si stated yesterday.

By People's Daily Online
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