Civil Aviation Administration of China head Li Jiaxiang said China’s expanding high-speed railway network does not pose a major threat to its airlines. He agreed there might be some cost pressures on the carriers from some routes, but railways could also help boost air travel in remote landlocked regions.
China plans to build 13,000 kilometers of high-speed railway by 2012, more than the rest of the world combined.
According to the government’s blueprint, by 2020 the network will have expanded to serve more than 90% of the population, with a budgeted cost of RMB2 trillion (US$300 billion), and including 16,000 km of the fastest newly built lines.
Stuff reported Li Jiaxiang, a former chairman of Air China, as saying growth in leisure and business travel is also bolstering the top lines of Air China, China Eastern and China Southern to record highs.