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Railway, airlines battle it out

06-13-2011 13:54 BJT Special Report:Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Rail |

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Competition in China's transport sector is heating up. The launch of the long-awaited Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway will no doubt pose more challenges to the aviation sector. But it's good news for commuters between the two cities, as it presents an attractive alternative to flying and the long delays it brings with it, both in the air and on the road.

An economy flight between Beijing and Shanghai costs around 1,300 yuan. And a second-class high-speed rail ticket costs a little more than half that amount, around 600 yuan. But flight fares are getting cheaper, and discounted tickets are available in quiet seasons.

Many commuters say they prefer to fly if the fares are cheaper than high-speed rail costs.

A commuter said, "I would choose to take a flight."

But in terms of overall travel time, high-speed rail is a more appealing choice for many.

"I think high-speed rail is more convenient. It takes so much time to go to the airport, as they are located far from the city center," said the commuter.

Another factor making high-speed rail more attractive is that they are more punctual, and less affected by weather conditions.

"Flights are usually late or cancelled due to bad weather, so high-speed rail is my first choice."

Facing the serious challenge posed by high-speed railways, China's aviation sector has come up with new measures to cope.

Liu Jianling, spokesman of China Eastern Airlines Jiangsu Ltd., said, "If a traveler is late for a flight, he or she can catch the next flight with no transfer fees."

In addition, the country's aviation authorities have launched new campaigns to improve flight punctuality.

Editor:Shi Jierui |Source: CNTV.CN

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