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Lid to come off aviation service market
( 2003-12-25 09:27) (China Daily by Cao Desheng)

China will slowly pry open its aviation service market and air transport sector in the coming year, a senior official with the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has revealed.

CAAC Director Yang Yuanyuan made the remark during this week's national working conference on the civil aviation industry.

While promoting air transport links in line with the nation's overall structure of foreign relations, the country's civil aviation authority will highlight regional collaboration in air transport, he said.

In the meantime, CAAC will also help establish an examination system for the entry and exit of international airlines, upgrade the management distribution rights of international carriers and support powerful domestic airline companies to develop international routes, Yang said.

The administration will continue to encourage domestic airlines to code share, establish strategic alliances and promote marketing partnerships across other fields.

In the past year, China signed new air traffic agreements with 12 nations including Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, France and Japan.

China also allowed more carriers to pick up cargo en route to final destinations, which helped to reduce the high demand for goods in some cities, according to Yang, who hailed the move as a huge step in the expansion of the sector.

Furthermore, China formally signed an aviation agreement for the first time with Iceland, and renewed agreements with Ethiopia and Nepal in 2003, Yang said.

Talking about foreign investment in the country's civil aviation industry, Yang said foreign capital is being encouraged to enter the sector.

This year, China's aviation industry has given approval to six foreign investment companies and utilized US$110 million worth of foreign capital, up 28 per cent over the previous year.

For the first time in 50 years, six Taiwan airlines were authorized to fly from Shanghai via Hong Kong or Macao to Taiwan, transporting nearly 2,500 passengers during the Spring Festival.

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