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Airlines to pick own service style
By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-02 05:36

Chinese airlines will enjoy more freedom in deciding their type of service, according to a document released by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) yesterday.

In an official written reply to Spring Airlines, one of China's three private airlines, CAAC backed the company's practice of seeking low prices by simplifying service.

The reply said that as no laws or regulations contain mandatory provisions on the supply of free food or drinks and the compensation for delayed flights, the airline companies have the right to provide differential service.

However, the airlines are required to try their best to inform passengers of such practices if they do so.

To survive the heated competition in China's airline market, Spring a newly created company simplified its service to reduce ticket prices in order to attract more passengers.

For instance, the company only offers one free bottle of mineral water during the flight. Passengers have to pay for additional snacks and drinks.

And the number of stewards or stewardesses on each flight was reduced to four, in contrast to five or six plus a safety guard in other airlines. Also, a passenger is entitled to free baggage allowance of 15 kilograms on a Spring flight, in contrast to 20 kilograms permitted by most of China's major airline companies.

The document said such a practice reflects the company's flexible strategy for development, which is in accordance with the CAAC's goal of promoting the growth of China's civil aviation industry.

On June 29, CAAC held a hearing on the company's practices.

Canadian Ministry of Transportation yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with CAAC on co-operation in the Safety Management System, which has proved to be an effective system in Canada.

(China Daily 09/02/2005 page2)

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