GUANGZHOU, China, Sept. 17, 2018 /Xinhua-AsiaNet /–
On September 16, the 24th World Route Development Forum kicked off in Guangzhou, an international metropolis built over 2230 years ago.
The Routes event has been commonly dubbed as “the Olympics” and “World Expo” in the international civil aviation community. The World Routes 2018 has an unprecedented scale, attracting more than 3500 guests of airlines, airport administrative organizations, governments and travel agencies in 115 countries, a record high since the first edition in 1995. This grand event has generated prime opportunities for Guangzhou and China in international markets and witnessed the rise of Guangzhou’s international aviation hub.
“A new airport acts as a new driver for national development.” In recent years, Guangzhou’s international aviation hub and airport economy have experienced rapid development. The aviation hub, as it improves, allows Guangzhou to vigorously promote the Belt and Road Initiative and drastically enhance its innovative capacity and ability to stimulate the development of the surrounding areas.
The Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is the third largest one in China. At the opening ceremony of the forum, the Guangdong Airport Authority, organizer of the event, signed memorandums of cooperation in developing air routes with seven Chinese and foreign airlines, and important routes to Madrid, Milan, St. Petersburg, and Islamabad are expected to open in the near future. Statistics show that the Baiyun Airport has set in place 23 international routes that were newly-launched or saw an increase of flight frequency and connected another seven destinations since the flag handover ceremony at the World Routes 2017 in Barcelona last September. By far the airport has been home to nearly 80 Chinese and foreign airlines, and it has air connections with more than 210 destinations, nearly 90 of them being overseas.
“A world-class aviation hub can bring in a huge and valuable traffic,” said Wen Wenxing, general manager of the Guangdong Airport Authority, adding that the ability to connect the country and the world and strong capacity to allocate resources have enabled Guangzhou to gain an inherent edge over developing the airport economy. Guangzhou has been home to a number of high-end projects, represented by Airbus’s and Boeing’s plants of converting passenger planes into cargo planes. Another highlight is the city’s aviation maintenance industry, which has witnessed the forming of the world’s largest aircraft maintenance and freighter conversion bases.
Simultaneously, industries related to the airport economy have enjoyed rapid growth as Guangzhou continues to enhance its aviation strength. According to statistics, Guangzhou has ranked first in China by volume of cross-border e-commerce business for four consecutive years. The comprehensive bonded zone now houses over 1,000 companies engaging in cross-border e-commerce, and registering over 100,000 kinds of products. Each day, an average of over 140,000 lists of cargo was handled at the airport.
“This conference helps to demonstrate to the world the achievements of reform and opening up in Guangzhou, Guangdong and even China. We are willing to build more cooperation platforms with airports, airlines and travel agencies all over the world, and open up more channels to achieve win-win development,” said Zhang Shuofu, Secretary of the CPC Guangzhou Municipal Committee, at the forum.
The international aviation community, gathering in China for the World Routes 2018, the third edition in China, holds high expectation for enhancing inter-connectivity and win-win cooperation, and draws a blueprint for the aviation development in the future.
Tewolde, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, expressed his hope to further expand the aviation market in China, and the company is planning to increase the flight frequency to Guangzhou and other major airports in China.
On September 10th, JC (Cambodia) International Airlines officially launched the Guangzhou-Sihanoukville route, the first direct air route connecting the two destinations. Upekha Anupauma Bentota Pathiranha, senior vice president of JC, said at the forum: “Currently, JC has direct route connections with 10 Chinese cities including Guangzhou. We plan to increase that figure to 15 by the end of this year.”
“We’re planning to make further progress in southern China, Guangzhou in particular, because Guangdong is a critical market to us,” said Huseyin Ceyhan, vice president, Asia-Pacific at Turkish Cargo.
Source: Guangdong Airport Authority