The opening of new routes to secondary airports in China will be one of the major trends in air travel over the coming 12 to 24 months, according to the CAPA centre for aviation. The Chinese government is supporting expansion from second-tier airports. Finnair’s new service to Chongqing in May and Air France’s route to Wuhan in April are examples of European airlines launching to such cities, but Chinese carriers will also provide feed traffic at the main Chinese gateways.
A number of factors are fuelling the rise in traffic. Not only do countries have greater needs for further links with China and locally Chinese people have greater propensity to travel, but also high-speed rail expansion domestically is pushing China’s airlines to grow internationally. China's own second-tier airlines want to expand abroad, mainly within the Asia Pacific region. Meanwhile, the Middle East airlines are expanding aggressively into China.
[pictured: Pedestrian mall, Nanping District,Chongqing; photo by Prof.Chen Hualin]