Watch VideoPlay Video
For most Chinese people, travelling by air is still a luxury and budget airlines are still a fresh concept. But things may be changing, with low-cost airlines fighting to win a share of the China market.
Civil aviation is booming in China. Along with standard airlines, low-cost airlines are also developing fast. The first of these in China is the privately run Spring Airline which has made quite a success so far.
Wang Zhenghua, President of Spring Airlines, said, "Spring Airline has been developing quite well under current circumstances. We have around 30 air planes and nearly 50 routes. Japan, Europe and Hong Kong are all included."
Ning Hong, Beijing, said, "China’s civil aviation market is diversifying. Passengers now have more practical needs than before. Low-cost airlines have great potential in China and many companies have realized that."
Jetstar is a budget airline based in Singapore. It recently opened two routes in China. And Jetstar is just one of many international low-cost airlines that is trying to expand in China.
On-line travelling agency Ctrip has taken note of the trend.
Liu Lijuan, Senior Manager of Air Ticketing Dept., CTRIP, said, "We start to work with low-cost airlines this year, including Spring Airline and Jetstar. Now we have direct flights to Singapore from China’s second-tier cities. And the price is forty percent cheaper than standard airlines. A lot of our customers are sensitive about cost and lower prices could attract quite a lot people."
Also the geographic location has give airlines based in China more advantages.
"China is a very good market for budget airlines. Normally, low-cost airlines cover around fifteen million square kilometres, and flight times are around five to six hours. That means we could cover China and countries in North East Asia such as Korea and Japan. It will be a huge market." Wang Zhenghua said.
The ground for low-cost airlines is developing. More airlines mean more choices for customers, and of course better service.