Shantou Airlines Ltd, an affiliate of Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines Co Ltd, has moved one-third of its transportation capacity to Yiwu, a county-level city in Zhejiang province.
As the first airline to launch flights in Yiwu, a city famous for its small commodity markets, Shantou Airlines currently owns the largest market share in the city. More than 1 million passengers will fly to or from Yiwu in 2013, the Zhejiang-based newspaper Daily Business reported on Monday.
The airline is gradually upgrading its Boeing 737-300 to Boeing 737-800. Upon completion of the fleet refurbishment, there will be more than 2,100 air seats registered in Yiwu.
In 2012, Shantou Airlines launched flights between Yiwu and the cities of Guangzhou, Beijing, Shantou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Haikou, Urumqi, and Hong Kong, which greatly boosted development of Yiwu's aviation market.
The local civil aviation administration of Yiwu said the city will strive to launch international flights in 2013.