Nation's carriers achieve solid growth in 2016 as flight punctuality rate improves

Updated 2016-12-26 10:05:42 Global Times

China's civil aviation sector saw solid growth in 2016, with total passenger volume expected to reach 480 million trips, up 11 percent on a yearly basis, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Friday.

Freight volume is expected to reach 6.64 million tons, up 5.5 percent, according to the CAAC.

Companies in the sector reported total profit of 60.13 billion yuan (.66 billion) in the first 11 months, up 10.5 percent year-on-year, it said.

In the January-November period, the flight punctuality rate was 76.46 percent, up 9.15 percentage points year-on-year.

In 2017, total passenger volume of China's civil aviation is expected to reach 536 million trips and freight volume to total 6.97 million tons, according to the CAAC.

Weather has been the major factor affecting the punctuality rate, with 56.8 percent of delayed flights being affected by weather, compared with 29.5 percent in 2015, said Feng Zhenglin, administrator of the CAAC, reported on Sunday.

He said that flight volumes have reached the "ceiling" of the agency's capacity, resulting in low punctuality rates and unsatisfying travel experiences. Also, Feng noted that budget airlines accounted for a 10.3 percent share in the civil aviation sector, which means challenges to overall service standards and administration.

Feng said that the flight punctuality rate should be kept above 75 percent in 2017, according to the report.

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