China is the fastest growing aviation market in the world thanks to the expansion of its air freight and air passenger industries. With air freight growth volumes predicted to drop off this year, how will the country’s significance in the aviation market be affected?
The growth of China’s air freight industry has led to a surge in the Asian cargo business over the last few years. This is reflected in the fact that air freight from Asia to Dallas Fort Worth airport (which is the leader in Asian cargo in the eastern and southern U. S) increased by 42% in 2004.
However, it is expected that China’s air freight volume growth will ease off this year. This will happen as the market returns to a more stable expansion pace after the post SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) rebound in 2004 and 5.
In 2004 and 2005, China’s air freight volume increased by 25% and 20% respectively. Passenger traffic also grew at this time; by 33% in 2004 and by 20% in 2005. This was as a result of people taking to the skies following the outbreak of SARS in the region.
Although the growth rate of China’s air freight business is expected to ease off this year, it will not halt altogether. According to freight industry experts, air freight cargo volumes are anticipated to rise by 10% in 2006. If it does so, China’s air freight volume will be 3.36 million tons.
Similarly, air passenger numbers are also likely to increase. China’s aviation regulator estimates that air passenger number swill increase by 15%. This will mean that 159 million people will travel by air out of China in 2006.
The continued growth of China’s air freight and air passenger volumes is relevant to the country as it is the fastest growing aviation market in the world today. As a result China is an important battleground between Boeing and Airbus.
Boeing has entered into discussions with China to supply the country with 150 jets. Whilst Airbus has signed a deal with China to supply 150 A320 jets to it. As a result China’s role in the global aviation market is likely to remain very significant despite a slight slow down in its air freight industry’s growth rate.
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