China Southern Airlines has reported that it is now the ninth largest airline in the world in terms of annual passenger traffic.
This ranking was officially announced at the recent 63rd IATA Annual General Meeting.
China Southern Airlines carried 49.21 passengers in 2006.
In 2007, China Southern Airlines is expecting annual passenger traffic up to 60 million.
China Southern Airlines was the only Chinese carrier to enter into the world Top 10 ranking of the world’s largest passenger airlines. At this annual general meeting, Mr. Liu Shao Yong, President, China Southern Air Holding Company & Chairman of China Southern Airlines, was reappointed as a member of the Board of Governors, the first time for a mainland Chinese airlin e chairman.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the largest global air transport organization with membership totaling more than 300 air transport airlines.
China is a nation with the most IATA member airlines with nearly 20 IATA member carriers including those from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau areas.
The Board of Governors is the IATA’s management team that represents all member airlines in executing the functions of supervision and administration and consists of more than 30 member airline chairmen or CEOs.
As the only mainland Chinese member of the IATA Board of Governors winning such a reappointment, Mr. Liu Shao Yong said, “Contributing to this is the rapid development of the Chinese aviation industry from a ‘big aviation nation’ to a ‘strong aviation country’. Powered by the rapid increase in the Chinese economy, all the Chinese air carriers have been gaining continual enhancement in their strength, enjoying a significant influence on the world aviation sector.”
In 2006, China Southern Airlines maintained a double-digit increase in its annual passenger traffic, total traffic turnover and freight tonne/kilometer, with more than 49.21 million passengers carried and more than three million hours safely flown, winning the “Three-Star Flight Safety Award” by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) - the most prestigious award in the Chinese aviation industry.
Currently, China Southern Airlines is operating 307 aircraft and is the largest Chinese carrier in terms of fleet, routes and extensive air network in The People’s Republic of China.