SOURCE / ECONOMY
Global aviation center shifting to China: IATA official
Published: Jun 29, 2021 06:37 PM


The first plane lands at Chengdu Tianfu International Airport in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, which was officially opened on Sunday. The airport is expected to see 60 million passenger trips and cargo throughput of 1.3 million tons each year. Photo: cnsphoto

The first plane lands at Chengdu Tianfu International Airport in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, which was officially opened on Sunday. The airport is expected to see 60 million passenger trips and cargo throughput of 1.3 million tons each year. Photo: cnsphoto





A senior executive from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the global center of the aviation industry is shifting to China, given the recovery speed of China amid the epidemic. 

The focus of the aviation industry shifted from the US in the 1960s to eastern countries, and the center was close to the Middle East before the epidemic, and now we can see that the center of global aviation is moving from the Middle East to China, Willie Walsh, IATA's director general, said in an online conference on June 25.  

"The aviation center of gravity is definitely moving east, and it has accelerated through this crisis," he said. 

He noted that the domestic air travel market in China is recovering much faster than the international market, as China is one of the world's largest domestic air travel markets. In terms of revenue passenger kilometers, China's air travel accounts for about 20 percent of the global total.

The performance of the Chinese market is outstanding, as well as the performance of airlines in China, demonstrating the strength of the Chinese market. 

Chinese airlines' passenger turnover is making a sound recovery as major domestic carriers reported positive year-on-year growth, showing that domestic passenger travel continues to heat up.

IATA announced that domestic travel demand improved in April compared with the prior month, although it remained well below pre-pandemic levels. China's domestic traffic returned to pre-crisis levels of growth, with demand up 6.8 percent in April compared with April 2019.

US domestic traffic declined 34.9 percent in April versus the same month in 2019, much improved from the 43.9 percent decline in March compared with two years earlier. 

IATA predicted that the US domestic market is expected to make a full recovery by the end of this year or early 2022.

The top aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said earlier this month that the scale of passenger travel remained the same as last month, but it was equivalent to 93.6 percent of the same period in 2019.




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