Chinese aviation has soared in the past 30 years advancing 35 places to become the world’s second-largest market.
The rapid takeoff started with an instruction from the late leader Deng Xiaoping: ‘The civil aviation industry must be commercialized.’
Shortly thereafter, China’s first foreign-invested firm — the Beijing Aviation Food — was formed. That realization was the start of the air catering company, as well as the start of the industry’s opening up to foreign investors.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China issued rules in 1994 that allowed foreign companies to invest to a certain limit in all sectors of the industry.
The widened investment scope helped the domestic aviation industry enter a new stage. Several foreign-invested cargo airlines were established, including Singapore-invested Great Wall Airlines, German-invested Jade Cargo and Shanghai Airlines Cargo.
The loosened rules have helped the industry attract more than $30 billion in foreign investment.
When China opened its skies to overseas carriers in 2004, domestic airlines faced fiercer competition and gradually realized the importance of joining forces with overseas counterparts in air alliances.
China Southern Airlines, the country’s biggest carrier by fleet size, joined SkyTeam in 2007, while Air China and Shanghai Airlines joined the Star Alliance in the same year to strengthen their international networks and upgrade services for travelers.
Source: Shanghai Daily