Government regulators said China’s aviation sector regained robust growth, with higher passenger numbers and profits at the country’s airlines in the latest quarter.
Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China told an international aviation safety conference that in contrast to cutbacks and losses at many airlines in other regions, Chinese carriers, maintenance facilities, airports and other aviation businesses had a profit of RMB9.2 billion ($1.35 billion) in the three months ended September 30.
Mr. Li said that over the same period, domestic passenger traffic rose more than 23% from a year earlier. In August, he said, there was a 43% increase from 2008 levels.
Last year the aviation sector had a loss of RMB28 billion. Mr. Li said all segments of the industry are now reporting double-digit growth. He attributed the strong showing to the fact that China’s economy "is still growing favorably".
Officials said that pent-up demand for air travel is also driving the increase. In Beijing, for example, the average number of passengers going through local airports in October surged to 210,000 daily, nearly 50% above earlier typical levels.
Wall Street Journal said Chinese carriers and government officials haven’t released passenger projections for 2010.