During the past half month (August 19-September 5), China's aviation market is expect to see a slight slide in traffic volume as the summer travel peak comes to an end. Fewer domestic routes were opened during the period, and international services drew much attention.
Beijing Capital Airlines (JD) launched a thrice-weekly round-trip service to Copenhagen, Denmark on September 3, marking the airline's first transcontinental service and the first nonstop flight between China and Denmark.
Since it planned to transform into a low-cost carrier, the Beijing-based carrier has been accelerating its overseas expansion. It opened five international services to Japan and South Korea. Following its first Airbus A330 joining in this July, Capital Airlines is expected to take delivery of 30 wide-body aircraft in five years.
On August 20, Sichuan Airlines (3U) launched Chengdu-Guilin-Longyan route, with three flights weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Starting September 4, the regional carrier began operating Airbus A330 aircraft on Chengdu-Yinchuan-Dubai route, with two flights weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays. It is the third international service linking Southwest hub with Middle East, and Dubai becomes the sixth international destinations of Sichuan Airlines following Katmandu, Moscow, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Jeju.
Air China (CA) operated two international services in the past two weeks, Hangzhou-Bangkok and Hefei-Seoul routes. On August 19, the flag carrier opened the daily Hangzhou-Bangkok service, using Airbus A321 aircraft, resuming the Hefei-Seoul route on September 2 with five flights weekly.
The nation's largest carrier China Southern Airlines (CZ) launched a new twice-weekly service from Dalian to Cheongju, South Korea on September 4.
Besides, two foreign airlines, Air Korea and Dynamic Airways, launched Changzhou-Jejue and Shijiazhuang-Saipan on September 2 and September 5, respectively.
Meanwhile, nine domestic routes were opened during the past half month, including 9 Air (AQ)'s Tianjin-Chongqing route and Tianjin-Guangzhou route on September 1.
China Eastern Airlines (MU) opened a super short-haul daily service from Nanjing to Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, using Airbus A320 aircraft. It is reported that the new slot may be probably used for aircraft deployment within the airline.
9 Air launched the first low-cost air route between Tianjin and Guangzhou, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft with four flights weekly.
Another low-cost carrier China West Air (PN) opened the first nonstop flight between Shijiazhuang and Jiuzhaigou on September 5.
What's more, three domestic airlines have applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for launching new international services, apart from Tianjin Airlines (GS)'s application for expanding business scope.
Tianjin Airlines is awaiting approval from China's aviation watchdog to launch long-haul international services after filing an application to the aviation watchdog for expanding its business license coverage.
China Southern applied to the CAAC for a thrice-weekly Shenyang-San Francisco route. Pending government approval, the Guangzhou-based carrier will fly its Boeing 787/777-300ER or Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the Shenyang-San Francisco route starting this October.
Hainan Airlines (HU) is waiting government approval to launch two nonstop services to Sydney from Xi'an and Changsha in November. The new services will be operated twice weekly, using Airbus A330 aircraft.
China Eastern applied for launching a thrice weekly round-trip service to Brisbane from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) on January 16, 2016.
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