[photopress:air_flight_attendants.jpg,full,alignright]Air China’s former chairman Li Jiaxiang has proposed the creation of a super-carrier via his company’s acquisition of smaller rivals. His view is that China should create a state holding company which would control the assets of its top three airlines. His thought being that this would make them better able to compete with global rivals.
Under this plan, recounted to the the 21st Century Business Herald, the holding company would control the assets of China Southern Airlines , China Eastern Airlines and Air China.
The move would forge a closer partnership among the three carriers and enable them to better compete in the global markets.
He added that his firm, Air China, was seeking RMB30 billion to 40 billion ($4.22-5.63 billion) cash injection from the government to boost its capital base.
Aggressive aircraft orders in recent years have pushed debt ratios at major Chinese airlines above 90%, increasing their operating costs.
All three major carriers last year sought cash injections from the government, according to local media reports, but have not yet received a response.
None of which remotely attends to the real problems of the industry.
Passengers judge airlines by promptness and the quality of the inflight service. Promptness requires integration between several authorities but it can be done.
In flight service is something else again. The writer has been on no Chinese airline where the inflight service has been remotely acceptable by international standards.
There seems to be an idea among the cabin crew that they take care of one safety demonstration, one meal (normally served in a slapdash fashion), a clearing away of the debris and then disappear to an undefined space from when they emerge for landing.
No international traveler would take a long haul flight on a Chinese airline by choice. Amalagamating them will not touch the problem.
What is needed is a most stringent test when hiring the staff and a weeding out of the passenger-unfriendly practices which are deeply embedded.
Source: Reuters and agaonizing personal research.