(Yicai Global) Sept. 22 -- Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will firmly improve the flight punctuality of operating airlines. From this winter-spring flight season, the flight schedule arrangements will be made in line with total flight volumes and airport capacity, the CAAC announced on its website yesterday.
Beijing Capital Airport and Pudong Airport were sanctioned several times since the beginning of this year for poor on-time performance. The CAAC asked them to reduce departure flights to 75 percent of the airport capacity. This means that the flight volume in the two airports will go through substantial adjustment process.
Airlines can replace small aircrafts with large aircrafts on major routes, so the passenger volume may not necessarily be reduced. However, there are concerns regarding possible revenue decline in the two major airports. At present, the Beijing Capital Airport is operated by Beijing Capital International Airport Co. [HKG:0694] and Pudong Airport is operated by Shanghai International Airport Co. [SHA:600009].
"This has a big impact on the aviation market,” Caixin quoted several industry insiders as saying. Beijing Capital Airport, Pudong Airport, and many other large airports are already reaching their full capacity.
"Reduction in flight volumes does not necessarily impact on passenger volumes," secretary-general Li Xiaomei of China Civil Airports Association told Caixin. Take Beijing Capital Airport, for instance. It had to close the middle runway for nearly a month in April due to an overhaul project. But its final performance showed that the passenger volume did not necessarily drop despite the reduced number of flights, he pointed out. About 40 percent of the arriving and departing flights are done through the middle runway at the Beijing Capital Airport.
In addition to Beijing and Shanghai, the CAAC also asks other city airports to improve their on-time performances. For example, if the flight punctuality is lower than 80 percent for airports with one or two runways, flight volumes should be reduced to 75 percent of the airport capacity starting from the next flight season.
Civil Aviation Administration of China has taken the above-mentioned measures during its coordination meeting on national civil aviation winter-spring flight season schedule on Sept. 19, Caixin reported.
Civil aviation industry adjusts the operation plan according to flight seasons, the winter-spring season and the summer-autumn season. During the two adjustment periods of the flight seasons, the Civil Aviation Administration will hold a coordination meeting with the airlines and airports to discuss the upcoming flight schedules.