China's high-speed rail doesn't spell doom for airlines
China's high-speed rail doesn't spell doom for airlines
Author:AvBuyer    NewsSource:AvBuyer    Hits:    Update Time:2011-4-19
The Wuhan-Nanjing route of China Southern Airlines and Lucky Air were recently closed as China’s high-speed railway network, represented by the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, is becoming more mature and putting more pressure on civil air transport.

Experts said that all flight routes will be influenced as long as there are high-speed railways along the route. However, the impact is not significant.

This is not the first time that collinear flights have closed as a result of high-speed railways. Flights from Changsha to Guangzhou were suspended five days later after the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway opened, and flights from Zhengzhou to Xi’an were also suspended after the Zhengzhou-Xi’an high-speed railway opened.

In addition, the number of flights from Shanghai to Wuhan has also been cut from nearly 40 flights each day to the current 20 flights along with the public-transport operation of motor trains from Shanghai to Wuhan.

High-speed railways have diverted passengers away from airline, and caused them to slash air ticket prices. It is estimated that if a high-speed railway cuts the travel time between two cities by one hour on average, the prices for flights on the same route will have to fall by 30 yuan to retain passengers.

However, if the two cities are Beijing and Shanghai, airlines will have to reduce the flight prices by 50 yuan to get the same effect. Many flights have been affected by high-speed railways. In fact, after China’s ambitious high-speed railway network consisting of four north-south lines and four west-east lines is completed, about 30 percent of domestic flights will be affected, said Li Xiaojin, director of the Institute of Air Transportation Economics under the Civil Aviation University of China.

"Airlines can take two counter-measures. The first measure is to open flights to inaccessible domestic areas and foreign countries. The second is to take advantage of high-speed railways by building high-speed railways extending to airports and investing in the high-speed railway sector," Li said.

Li said that in fact, high-speed railways only have limited adverse effects on China’s civil aviation industry. One reason is that new international flights can sufficiently make up for airlines’ losses in the domestic market and increase the industry’s economic efficiency.

The other reason is that many passengers tend to transfer from high-speed trains to planes in international hub cities, so it is entirely possible that the high-speed rail and civil aviation industries can achieve win-win results through cooperation.

By People’s Daily Online
NewsInputer:caokun    Editor:caokun