China to modify its “one route, one airline policy”
Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) declared it would modify its “one route, one airline policy” that was implemented in 2009, according to a statement released on the agency’s website on May 14, 2018, Reuters reports. The changes to the legislation will allow more Chinese airlines to fly long-haul routes.
The “one route, one airline policy” was decided by the CAAC to prevent Chinese state-owned companies to compete on the same routes. The easing of the policy to be enforced after October 1, 2018.
The international routes will be divided in two, between the countries China has “open skies” agreements with and where the number of airlines competing will only be restricted by the amount of slots available in concerned airports, and the others which will see some restrictions applied by the CAAC.
Private airlines, Chinese or foreign, will have to compete with the state-owned companies and provide consumers with attractive fares. This will probably result in an impoverished secondary market, as the airlines that until now had to rely on connections in smaller Chinese cities to cover certain routes will likely turn to the most profitable ones (mainly to and from Beijing or Shanghai).