There have been a number of recent developments in, and future growth predictions about, China’s aviation sector. This is in the context of reports that China’s aviation industry earned profits of £3.9 billion last year.
Forecast of an Increased Need For Planes and Pilots
Boeing’s 2011 ‘Pilot and Technician Outlook’ report indicates that China is likely to experience a sizable need for additional pilots, technicians and planes over the next 20 years.
Boeing’s report places this additional need at over 72,000 pilots, 108,000 technicians and 5,000 new planes (in respect of the latter, this is valued at $600 billion). In particular, Boeing has adjusted its estimate of the number of planes that will be needed from a previous estimate of 4,330 (valued at $400 billion) and this is based on its prediction that, on average, China’s air travel market will grow at an annual rate of 7.6 per cent.
New airport in Beijing
Authorities in Beijing have confirmed that a new airport is to be built in Beijing. Beijing is currently serviced by two existing airports, one of which was expanded four years ago by the inclusion of an additional third terminal.
The new airport is to be built in Beijing’s southern Daxing area and it has been reported that this airport may have as many as nine runways. It has been estimated that travel time between Beijing city centre and the new airport will be shorter than 30 minutes.
The initial construction phase of the new airport is scheduled to be completed by 2015. Once the new airport is completed, commentators believe Beijing may be able to handle as many as 120 million airline passengers a year.
Link up with Manchester Airport
It has been reported that Beijing Capital International Airport is to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Manchester Airport under which each airport will become the ‘sister’ airport of the other. The agreement is also expected to lead to the inauguration of direct flights between Manchester and China within 12 to 18 months.
The arrangement is expected to be finalised and approved by December 2011.