In the first three quarters, the growth rate of passenger and freight transport slowed down year on year. What happened to CAAC?

 In the first three quarters, the growth rate of passenger and freight transport slowed down year on year. What happened to CAAC?

In recent years, with the deepening of opening up and the vigorous development of Chinas economy, Chinas civil aviation industry has ushered in a period of high-speed development, with double-digit growth in passenger transport volume and about 5% growth in cargo and mail volume.

However, since this year, the growth rate of passenger and freight transport in Chinas civil aviation has declined to varying degrees.

With the data released in the first three quarters, by comparing the monthly and cumulative growth data of passenger and freight bills, we can also roughly analyze the development situation and future development trend of civil aviation passenger and freight in the first three quarters of 2019.

I. air passenger traffic volume turns to medium high speed growth

From the single month data, the whole year is stable.

However, the passenger traffic volume in March was 53.504 million, basically the same as that in February, but the growth rate showed a sharp decline, only 4%, 7.1 percentage points lower than that in February, and more than 10 percentage points lower than that in January.

There are two main reasons for the decline of growth rate in March:

First, the Boeing 737max grounded, resulting in insufficient capacity of the airline.

On March 10, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737max plane crashed, which is the second plane crash of Boeing 737max after the Indonesia lion air crash on October 29, 2018.

In order to ensure the flight safety of CAAC, CAAC requires domestic transportation airlines to suspend the commercial operation of Boeing 737max aircraft before 18:00 on March 11, 2019.

Affected by this, 96 aircraft have grounded in China, which has a sudden impact on the capacity of airlines.

Second, civil aviation transportation has entered the traditional off-season.

March is the traditional off-season of civil aviation transportation, and the demand for passenger travel decreases, resulting in the natural decline of the growth rate of air passenger traffic in March.

In April, the airline increased the utilization rate of aircraft through reasonable allocation of transportation capacity, and the growth rate of air passenger transportation continued to pick up. In May, the growth rate reached 8.7%, and in June September, the growth rate remained stable at more than 8%.

Photo source: Air China

From the data of the whole year, from January to September, the total passenger traffic volume of the whole industry was 500 million person times, up 8.7% year on year, down 2.9 percentage points compared with the same period last year (the growth rate from January to September 2018 was 11.6%),

In addition, the actual growth rate in the first three quarters was 2.3 percentage points lower than the annual growth target. According to the national civil aviation working conference 2019, it is expected that the growth of passenger volume in 2019 will reach 11%.

There are also two main reasons for the decline in the growth rate of passenger transport volume in the whole year.

First, the impact of Boeing 737maxs sustained grounded.

Boeing 737max has not resumed its commercial operation since it was grounded in March. Although the growth rate has picked up through measures such as allocating its own transportation capacity, the impact of insufficient transportation capacity cannot be fully compensated.

Second, the policy impact of civil aviation transformation and development.

In order to improve the normal rate of flights and the development quality of civil aviation transportation, in September 2017, the Civil Aviation Administration issued several policies and measures on adjusting the total amount of controlled operation and the flight structure to improve the punctuality rate of flights, to control the total amount of operation and adjust the flight structure, and to strictly increase the standard at any time.

In January 2018, the new measures for the management of civil aviation flight time were issued to refine many aspects of civil aviation time management; on December 14 of the same year, the Civil Aviation Administration issued the notice on the regular assessment indicators and control measures for flights in 2019, which set up assessment indicators for airlines, airports and air traffic management, and the main punishment measures are to stop accepting overtime work of airlines or airport passenger transport, charter flights and new flights Line flights, reducing airport capacity, etc.

Under the influence of a series of policies, the average increase of main and auxiliary coordinated airport flight time in summer 2019 will not exceed 3%. (the main coordination airport refers to those airports where the time demand exceeds the capacity and there is little room for adjustment; the auxiliary coordination airport refers to those airports where the time demand is close to its capacity but there is still room for adjustment.)

In August of this year, CAAC further strengthened time increment control and issued the notice on doing well in current total control and adjustment structure, which requires that from August 15 to October 10, the planned daily flight volume of 19 airports should be reduced by 3% or 5%, the pilot of domestic red eye flight during summer vacation should be cancelled, and the approval of new flights including overtime, charter flight and regional flight should be stopped Moment.

Under the influence of various policies, although July August is the peak season of traditional flight transportation, the growth rate has not been greatly improved.

In addition, due to the impact of the environment, the overall market demand will also have an impact on the growth rate of civil aviation.

II. The air cargo and post transportation volume has declined significantly

From the single month data, affected by the comprehensive factors such as the wrong date of the Spring Festival and insufficient demand, the national civil aviation completed 376000 tons of cargo and mail transportation in February, down 17.6% year-on-year, with a significant decline in growth rate.

In March, a total of 631000 tons of cargo and mail transportation was completed, an increase of 2.4% year on year, and a positive growth was restored. But the growth rate continued to decline from April to June, especially the negative growth in May and June.

The growth rate picked up again in July. At present, the growth rate in a single month is basically stable at about 4%.

Affected by the impulse of air cargo and mail transportation at the end of the year and the peak season of air transportation, the growth rate is expected to pick up slightly in October, November and December.

From the data of the whole year, from January to September, the industry completed a total of 5.448 million tons of cargo and postal transportation, an increase of 0.5% year on year, the lowest level in the past five years.

The growth rate of air cargo and post transportation has declined, mainly due to two factors:

First, the global freight development situation continues to be sluggish.

Since this year, the global demand for air cargo has continued to decline due to factors such as weak global trade, continued trade frictions between China and the United States, fluctuations in air oil prices, and geopolitical instability. In April this year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) lowered its forecast for global air cargo demand growth in 2019 to 2% from 3.7%.

Second, China Europe trains divert some international air cargo sources.

With the characteristics of large transport capacity and low freight rate, China Europe train has significant advantages in the transportation of high-end automobile and parts, medical equipment, cross-border e-commerce and other goods, to a certain extent, it has diverted air cargo sources.

The growth rate of China Europe train is obvious, only 17 trains in 2011, 3673 trains in 2017 and 6300 trains in 2018. Photo source:

III. future development trend

Passenger transport:

Although the growth rate of passenger transport will fall in 2019, it is expected that the passenger volume of Chinas air transport will still grow at a relatively high speed in the next few years, mainly considering the following three aspects:

First, the impact of b737max is temporary. According to relevant reports, b737max is expected to resume commercial operation in March 2020, and the shortage of capacity of airlines will be effectively alleviated.

Second, the policy of controlling the total amount and adjusting the structure is a throbbing impact. With the improvement of the airports basic security level and the improvement of the normal flight rate, the policy will be untied.

Third, the penetration rate of air travel still has great room to improve. At present, Chinas per capita flight ratio is about 0.35 times, significantly lower than the United States (2.54 times) and Japan (0.93 times). Even considering the impact of high-speed rail, Chinas per capita flight ratio is still lower than the global level (0.5 times).

In the future, with the development of Chinas economy and the continuous improvement of residents income level, driven by the consumption upgrading, the peoples demand for air travel with high service quality and efficiency will further increase, and the air travel penetration still has a large space to improve.


It is expected that Chinas freight transport volume will show a volatile development in the next few years, but the overall trend is still showing growth.

There are two main considerations:

First, from a global perspective, the main driving factor for the growth of air cargo is still good. Governments of all countries continue to adopt expansionary fiscal policies to restore economic growth.

Second, with the transformation and upgrading of domestic industries and the deepening of opening up, the proportion of high value-added products suitable for air transport will be further increased, which will strongly promote the growth of Chinas air cargo.

Source: Netease aviation manuscript editor: Lin Zhiheng