In response to Premier Li Keqiang’s government work report urging concerted efforts on developing ground economic corridors and maritime cooperation points to promote connectivity, trade cooperation and cultural exchange for coordinated open domestic regional development and international economic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, China Easter Air has announced it would expand its fleet by adding 49 planes.
Xulun Ma, general manager of China Eastern Air Holding Company (China Eastern) told reporter of China Business News (Di Yi Cai Jing) in Shanghai that the company planned to add 49 planes to prepare for introducing a large number of long-haul routes.
“We will launch long-haul flights such as Shanghai-Chicago, Shanghai-Madrid, Shanghai- Amsterdam, Shanghai-St Petersburg and Shanghai-Brisbane,” Mr. Ma said, adding it is uncommon for the company to add so many long-haul routes in one year.
Besides launching new lines, the carrier also plans to increase flight frequency and distribute more capacity to destinations such as Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. “China Eastern aims to boost the capacity for international flights by over 20% this year,” said Mr. Ma.
The company has registered a 24% increase in its international flights capacity and a 27% growth in its passenger flow in 2015.
Jiaxiang Li, former director of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on the 2015 China Civil Aviation Development Forum that in building up infrastructure for civil aviation under the One Belt One Road Initiative, CAAC would reinforce the international airport hubs in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and develop medium or small airports in regional gateway cities such as Xi’an, Urumqi, Nanning, Kunming and Xiamen. (Translated by Jerry)