China Southern Airlines, the largest airline in The People`s Republic of China is pleased to announce that it has cracked the 20 Million mark of passengers carried for the first time in its history - and is aiming for carrying 30 Million passengers in 2003.
On Monday, December 9, with the final ticking of the massive departure screen at China Southern Airlines` domestic check-in counter at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, an assembled ground staff exploded into a frenzy as they welcomed China Southern Airlines` 20 Millionth passenger ever - Mr. Xie Ke who was travelling from Guangzhou to Shanghai. Mr. Xie became an instant celebrity by the local Chinese media.
Mr. Xie`s instant celebrity status as the 20 Millionth passenger for China Southern Airlines is indicative of the incredible growth of China`s largest airline.
As airlines continue to falter and fail around the globe, China Southern Airlines` growth is coming at unprecedented levels.
For more than two decades, China Southern Airlines has been the largest airline in The People`s Republic of China in terms of aircraft fleet, extensive network and passenger traffic.
And in October 2003, the largest airport in China and one of the largest in Asia will open - the new Baiyun International Airport.
China Southern currently operates 119 aircraft including Boeing 777, 747, 757 and 737 and Airbus A320 ... serving more than 380 domestic and International routes. China`s largest airline has formed an extensive network covering the whole of China and radiating throughout Asia with convenient connections to Australia, Europe, Japan and the United States. With more than 19 Million passengers carried in 2001 (one-fourth of the total traffic in the Chinese aviation industry), China Southern Airlines continued its dominance as the leading airline of China.
China Southern Airlines (the former CAAC Guangzhou Administration Bureau) has in the past decade quickly ramped-up its passenger traffic numbers. In 1991 when China Southern Airlines was formally established, its passenger traffic total was a mere 5.69 Million ... which today would be a small regional carrier in the USA.
China Southern Airlines started hitting its stride in the mid-90`s when it powered through the 10 Million mark in 1994 - then 15 Million in 1996.
In 2000 as Chinese economy continued to grow, China Southern Airlines` passenger traffic increased as well with an additional 1.5 Million flying that year. That summer, China Southern became the “laboratory experiment” for airline mergers in China as it absorbed the operations of China Zhongyuan Airlines.
The following year, its passenger traffic reached 19.1 Million - an increase of more than Two Million over the previous year.
It is estimated that China Southern Airlines will end Year 2002 with more than 21.3 Million passengers (more than Two Million over 2001). During the past decade, China Southern Airlines has grown by four times in size.
In 2000, IATA ranked China Southern Airlines (with 16.7 Million passengers carried) as the 24th largest airline in the world.
In Asia, China Southern Airlines was the sixth largest carrier in Asia that year behind All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Japan Air System, Korean Air and Thai International Airways.
In 2001, China Southern Airlines surpassed Thai International Airways and moved into the top five carries in Asia.
This year, with the consolidation between Japan Air System and Japan Airlines and continued global slowdown of airlines in Europe - typified by the recent bankruptcy of United Airlines in the United States ... China Southern Airlines continues to grow at a double digit rate.
Globally in Year 2000, China Southern Airlines was ranked as the 24th largest airline in the world and moved to #21 in 2001 - surpassing KLM Royal Dutch Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Thai International Airways.
Industry experts predict that China Southern Airlines will not only be listed within the Top 20 of the largest airlines in the world but most likely end 2002 as the 19th largest airline in the world - the first mainland Chinese airline to step into this elite group.
On October 11 of this year, the three large Chinese air transport groups were founded in Beijing. After the merger is fully integrated bewteen China Southern Airlines, China Northern Airlines and Xinjiang Airlines, China Southern Air Holding Company will either own or operate 180 aircraft serving 666 routes with total assets of more than RMB50.1 Billion. This will provide the new China Southern Airlines with routes to never-before served markets such as Moscow, and Islamabad.
And based upon passenger traffic numbers in 2001, the new China Southern Air Holding Company`s passenger traffic would surpass 26 Million, accounting for one third of the entire Chinese aviation industry.
And if you were to add the combined 2002 traffic of China Southern Airlines with that of China Northern Airlines and Xinjiang Airlines, total passengers would be more than 28 Million.
In 2003, with the integration of the three merged carriers and improved Chinese macro-economy, the new China Southern Airlines is expected to break through the 30 Million mark in passenger traffic which would not only surpass Korean Air but position China Southern as one of the top three airlines in Asia.