China to promote regional airline services and hubs

Beijing: The Chinese civil aviation authority has said that it intends to offer financial incentives to regional carriers in an effort to boost services to, and at, non-hub cities. Under the new policy, the General Administration of Civil Aviation (CAAC) said, it will provide subsidies to regional carriers and also adjust existing subsidy measures for small and medium airports.

According to CAAC''s estimate, the new policy will impact all regional carriers and more than 80 per cent of the Chinese mainland''s 147 airports. The new policy is CAAC''s attempt to increase circulation at small and medium airports. It said that it would place no restrictions on the types of planes that can be used for these flights.

The CAAC also said through a press release that it would provide subsidies to airports with annual passenger throughputs of less than 5 million. Under the programme, the smaller the airport, the more subsidies it will get.

Only 19 airports in the country have passenger throughputs of more than 5 million.

According to Gao Hongfeng, deputy chief of the CAAC, the new policies had been designed to rebalance the development of the country''s civil aviation sector.

Last year, the administration said, the density at airports in eastern China was three times that in the western part of the country.