by Xinhua writers Hu Tao, Luo Xin, Zhang Yiyi
BEIJING, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — China’s recovering civil aviation industry is generating new opportunities for global players amid the country’s resilient economy and push for wider opening-up.
Meanwhile, the global civil aviation industry has begun to emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 outbreak. The resumption of civil aviation is underway in China, said Liu Fang, secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“ICAO and the entire global aviation community are moving safely and steadily towards a new horizon. It’s a horizon where our lives and our world will return to normal again, where international air transport will be standing ready to expand the commercial market and supply chains,” she said.
Liu made the remarks through a video comment at the Second “Air Silk Road” International Forum held during the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing.
Leading the global air traffic recovery, China’s reviving civil aviation industry is fostering new business opportunities for the global market and industry players.
“Withstanding harsh challenges, China’s civil aviation industry has taken the lead with a steady recovery worldwide,” said Zhang Qing, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
By the end of August, daily average flights handled by China’s civil aviation industry came in at 13,000, around 90 percent compared with the volume before the pandemic outbreak.
Meanwhile, the country’s daily air passenger volume reached 1.6 million, about 80 percent of the volume in the same period last year. Its domestic routes saw the passenger volume recover to around 90 percent compared with last year.
The country’s air passenger and air cargo sectors are both gradually recovering, thanks to the government’s effective epidemic control measures and supportive policies.
Amid challenging times of the global civil aviation sector, industry players around the world are paying close attention to China’s wider opening-up and large market.
“China is the second-largest overseas market of Air France KLM and the largest in Asia. We are delighted and honored to resume our passenger flights to China, which marks a big step in rebuilding our global network,” said Toon Balm, general manager of Air France KLM Greater China.
Air France KLM has been playing its role in bridging the air cargo between China and Europe to ensure efficient transportation of vital supplies and maintain the global supply chain.
Boeing has launched the Confident Travel Initiative to develop new solutions that could minimize health risks associated with air travel and raise more safety awareness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. plane-maker has joined hands with Chinese airlines to provide technical support for safely ensuring disinfection works.
ENGINE FOR GROWTH
China is expected to maintain the momentum of a steady recovery in the second half of the year. The IMF forecasted China to achieve what could be the sole positive annual GDP reading among major economies.
“As an important engine for global economic growth, China’s recovery is critical to the global economy,” said Merlin Swire, chairman of Swire Pacific Limited. “Although the COVID-19 pandemic has posed serious challenges to the world, we all have witnessed China’s resilience during this difficult time.”
Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO), Swire’s engineering arm, has been expanding its business in Xiamen, east China’s Fujian Province.
Besides providing comprehensive aircraft engineering and maintenance services, HAECO Xiamen is also sharing its experience and knowledge with industry partners. To date, it has provided more than 1,800 student-courses to employees of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), developer of China’s C919 passenger aircraft.
“We are delighted to be a partner for COMAC and to play our part in developing the Chinese domestic aviation industry,” Swire said.