Zhang Guanghui: China's airports have bright prospects
- Time of issue:2020-12-22 08:57
Zhang Guanghui: China's airports have bright prospects
- Time of issue:2020-12-22 08:57
At the 17th. World Route Development Forum, Zhang Guanghui, the General Manager of BCIA, said in an exclusive interview that China's airports are very promising in the international civil aviation market.
The 17th. World Route Development Forum was held in Berlin, Germany from Oct. 2nd. to Oct. 4th. BCIA, together with 6 other domestic airports of China, attended the forum in a form of "Chinatown", and China's airports impressed all the professionals of the international civil aviation industry with their fast development.
At the forum, BCIA jointly worked with 6 other domestic airports of China to establish the "China Airports Collaborative Marketing Committee", with the purpose of building the overall image of China airport industry, and introducing the Chinese airports to the world, which allows them to be the focus of the Forum again.
Collaborative Marketing Committee
Why was China Airports Collaborative Marketing Committee established? And what competitive edges can it bring to China's airport industry? To answer these questions, Zhang Guanghui, the General Manager of BCIA remarked, compared with the countries with powerful civil aviation industry, China still lags behind them in this industry, despite its rapid development.
Especially, China's airports have many drawbacks in terms of their market development and marketing mechanism. On one hand, they lack marketing experience, with insufficient international marketing channels, and their negotiating capability in marketing needs to be further improved. On the other hand, more importantly, they lack awareness and are not highly motivated to develop air routes and attract airline companies, especially attracting foreign airline companies. In practice, they often show passive attitude, lack flexibility, and thus fail to break a new ground in international market.
Under the background of the gradual recovery of international aviation market, to further strengthen the international marketing ability, expand international development space, and actively explore the active marketing methods is not only the top priority of China's airport industry, but also an inevitable choice to promote the future development of the industry.
Based on the above considerations, BCIA has established China Airports Collaborative Marketing Committee, which provides a platform for its member airports to cooperate with each other, enjoy mutual benefits, and jointly promote the influence and competitiveness of China's airport industry on the international arena.
According to the report, the committee is a non-governmental and non-profit organization, which does not charge any membership fee to its members. It aims at strengthening communication and cooperation among member airports to form a joint marketing force and upgrade their marketing capability respectively. The committee will organize exchange activities among airports regularly, so as to promote the exchange and sharing of their experience, practice, concept and information. According to the specific conditions and concrete needs of each member, the committee is also responsible for organizing member airports to take part in big international events, establish the overall image of China's airport industry, and promote their marketing efforts.
As Zhang Guanghui said, all domestic airports enjoy free access to China Airports Collaborative Marketing Committee. And in this way the committee hopes to attract more airports and jointly improve the overall marketing level of China's airport industry. "We also hope that, by taking the World Route Development Forum as a window to the outside world, we can build the overall brand image of China's airport industry, expand the international air route network, increase destinations and frequencies, and attract more airlines and passengers to China."
Great potential in increasing international flights
"The main purpose to attend the forum is to introduce more international airlines to establish their operations in the Capital Airport and increase international flights. Up till now, we have attended the World Route Development Forum for 6 consecutive years," said Mr. Zhang, "according to the destinations in different continents, the marketing team of the BCIA has set various goals for different regions, which include consolidating traditional markets in Europe, expanding markets in Middle East and Southern Africa, preparing medium-term and long-term development in American markets and copying the fast growth model of short-range and low-cost airlines in Asia-Pacific Region."
At the forum, BCIA had one-to-one talks with 26 passenger airlines, 5 cargo airlines and 5 airports, and also had talks with well-known airlines such as Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., Swiss International AirLines, LOT Polish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Gulf Air, Delta Air Lines, Airasia Airline, etc. Meanwhile, as for the regions which have not been developed, the marketing team of BCIA has also carried out market researches and contacted airlines from those regions in advance, so as to lay a foundation for future cooperation.
Last year, the passenger throughput of Capital Airport exceeded 70 million and it is estimated that this figure may reach 80 million this year. Zhang Guanghui has a clear understanding on such achievement: "Although our passenger throughput ranked the second in the world, we are still facing a big challenge since we only have 517,000 flights, ranking the 8th in the world." This year, BCIA has established a "three steps" implementation plan on time slot upgrade. After great efforts from all sides and with the approval of the government, the company plans to increase its time slot from 83 flights per hour to 92 flights per hour. Mr. Zhang said, although the time slot resource of BCIA is very limited, there remains great potential before 7:00 a.m. and after 11:00 p.m., which is quite suitable for long-range international routes and cargo routes. So we hope that each airline company can pay attention to this resource and increase their international flights.
Establish strategic alliance to build Beijing International Hub
This year is the first year of the "12th Five-year Plan" period, and it is also a crucial period for BCIA to build the airport into a large international hub airport. To achieve this goal, BCIA has made great efforts in various aspects and some achievements have been made. Today, Capital Airport has 115 domestic destinations and 95 international destinations, reaching 54 countries, and it has formed an air route network that covers the largest areas in China. At the same time, the number of transfer passengers is also increasing, ranking the first place among domestic airports in China.
In order to build a complete hub network, the BCIA has strengthened its cooperation with 3 major airline alliances, shared the highly-qualified network resources with the member airline companies of the alliances and attracted transfer passengers. After persistent marketing efforts, the airport successfully introduced 3 airlines including Alitalia, Aeroflot Russian Airlines and SAT Airlines, and newly added 5 international destinations of Zurich, Milan, Athens, etc, providing more convenient choices for passengers. Based on the achievements made on this forum, BCIA will increase more destinations and flights density to North America and Europe, and develop the untouched international routes of Southeast Asia. At the same time, to make up the shortage of air route resources in Africa and Central and South America regions, BCIA will pay its attention to the development of the international routes to Southern Africa and Central and South America, and constantly improve its international route network.
Over the past years, Capital Airport has been putting its effort on establishing strategic alliances with airlines for promoting the construction of hub airport. Early in 2009, BCIA has jointly established a Hub Promotion Team with Air China to build the mechanism of cooperative organs, working system and regular meeting mechanisms, and set up the platform to communicate with relevant government agencies. On the basis of the current 24-hour visa-free policy for transfer passengers, BCIA makes efforts to extend the visa-free period to 48 or 72 hours and finally to 7 days. BCIA also works with Beijing Tourism Development Commission to attract more transfer passengers, provide more convenient transfer process, constantly expand and optimize the route network, and stabilize and increase its market share of flight transfer business on the international market. In the future, BCIA will establish a hub construction mechanism with China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines, and provide a better policy environment for the implementation of hub construction strategy and a more solid competitive edge for the company.
"China's airports have bright prospects in the competition of the international civil aviation market. With the implementation of the strategy of a country with strong civil aviation industry, China airport industry will play an increasingly important role in the international stages like the World Route Development Forum." Mr. Zhang concluded.