|China to spend $ 230 bn on aviation sector
China plans to invest more than 1.5 trillion yuan ($228.2 billion) in the aviation industry over the next five years to meet surging demand as its economy booms, the sector s top regulator said last week.
By 2015, the country is expected to have more than 220 commercial airports and its fleet size will expand to more than 4,500 planes, Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), told reporters.
The ability of the civil aviation sector to serve the national economy and the public will be further strengthened by that time, Li told a news conference.
The country currently has 175 commercial airports in operation and keeps more than 2,600 aircraft in its fleet, according to Li.
China has 43 airlines, including eight privately owned carriers. The major airlines are Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.
The government encourages private investment in the civil aviation sector and three new private airlines will soon submit business applications to the regulator, Li added.
Demand for air traffic is booming as the world s second-largest economy roars ahead on near double-digit growth and increasingly affluent Chinese people are travelling more frequently.
Li had previously said the country s civil aviation fleet was expected to have up to 5,000 aircraft by 2015, according to earlier Chinese media reports.