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Post-80s and 90s first-class passengers surging in China

By Ruan Fan ( chinadaily.com.cn ) Updated: 2016-05-06 16:47:52

Post-80s and 90s first-class passengers surging in China

The first Boeing B787 airplane in China lands on White Cloud Airport in Guangzhou, on June 2, 2013. [Photo/VCG]

China's post-80s and 90s have surpassed the 70s to become the major force of first-class and business-class passengers, and the number is still growing, according to the first season report issued by Ctrip on Wednesday.

The report shows that among these two kinds of seats takers, those born in 80s account for 28 percent of the total seat, over that of the 70s, which is 27 percent.

The post-90s generation, though making up only 9 percent of the total number, sees a steady slow rise from 2014's 6 percent and 2015's 7.5 percent.

As to the gender distribution, the report shows that first-class male passengers exceed that of the opposite sex by 40 percent, making up over two-thirds of the total number.

It is notable, however, that the figures might vary taking into consideration data from all the airlines. The result from a 2014 survey done by Guangzhou Daily, for example, shows that post-80s females, aged between 25 and 35, take 35.94 percent of the first and business class, while their male peers make up only 17.36 percent.

The younger trend taking place in China, as some industry experts analyze, results primarily from the growing number of post-80s replenishing executive and managerial positions in the society.

Another contributing factor is that airline companies are introducing special offers for hot routes between major cities, namely, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu.

Take June 6 flight of FM9018, special offer of first class is 1,300 RMB (about $199), only slightly higher than the full price of economic class, and a 66 percent discount of the full price of first class.

Changes behind the seat takers and the more affordable prices, as airline leaders observe, also reflect the strategic adjustments resounding the nation's curb on three public consumptions.

"It was a rigid demand for most first-class and business-class passengers, as the price was not a problem," a domestic airline marketing department officer told First Financial Daily. He said that now airlines are trying to promote "value first-class seats" to compete for such a group.

Budget airlines are also joining traditional airlines to earn a piece of the pie. As Spring Airlines CEO Wang Zhenghua said, the company has seen a continuous rise of "economic business-class" seats.

"Economic business class" offers passengers an in-between choice, with seats 20-40 percent more spacious than economic class, and the price 70-90 percent of the full price.

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