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            september 20, 2019

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China's aviation growth slows


China's air transport industry posted single-digit growth this year due to the global economic slowdown and domestic airspace restrictions, says Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
"But the growth speed is still the highest in the world, and so is the industry's profit, estimated at CNY45.6 billion (US$7.2 billion) for 2011, which accounts for more than half of the profits of global air transport," said Mr Li.
The air transport industry achieved an estimated total air traffic (including passenger and cargo traffic) of 57.4 billion ton-kilometres this year, up 6.6 per cent year on year, said CAAC.
It is the first single-digit growth since 2003 when the industry was hit by the SARS epidemic - the industry experienced double-digit growth from 2004 through 2010, reports China Daily.
CAAC had earlier planned 11.5 per cent growth in air cargo and a 13 per cent increase in passengers in 2011.
Said CITIC China Securities analyst Li Lei: "Due to the global economic downturn this year, the country's cargo transport was hit hard by the sluggish demand and has declined since May."
Passenger traffic only achieved nine per cent growth due to the slowdown in the domestic economy, compared with a high base last year when Shanghai held the World Expo, he said.
CAAC deputy chief Li Jun said that the country's fast-growing high-speed rail network claimed passenger traffic too, and the limited airspace for civil aviation restricted civil aviation growth.
As usable airspace is unlikely to expand suddenly, CAAC seeks to tap airport capacity potential and streamline air traffic control to add more flights.
China's commercial transport fleet reached 1,745 aircraft, with the addition of 148 planes this year. Airlines were asked to delay the delivery of 60 new planes for which orders have been placed. China had 180 airports at the end of 2011 up from 175 in 2010, the Shipping Gazette reports.

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