How to break into the Chinese aviation market: here’s what Air France KLM is doing
Marnix Fruitema, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific for Air France KLM was interviewed on high thoughts about the challenges and opportunities in the Chinese aviation market. Here are his answers:
1. What do you think are the major challenges / barriers in the Chinese aviation market?
Because of the tremendous growth in the Chinese Aviation market, there is and will be a shortage of resources (airports, pilots, airspace). This gives us some major challenges in terms of slots, and creates some significant delays to our operations (especially in SHA area) which are deteriorating our hub system. In addition, the upcoming challenge is now the uprising cost of running the operations at the airports in China.
2. What do you think are the major opportunities in the Chinese aviation market?
The booming economic markets supports and create the emergence of a wealthy middle class population which will be possibly attracted to visit Europe. This business opportunity has created some significant business traffic between China and Europe. We see some development in individual tourists (although the main bulk remains in Group Traffic). Today, the main part (above 85%) of the traffic in China is domestic, but we believe that the international traffic will further develop, and will be supported by some regional hubs to better connect with secondary cities where the economic development is even higher. We are also starting to see some cooperation between train and air.
3. What are your top 3 business objectives for 2012? Why?
1/ Reinforce our cooperation with our Chinese partners to further develop our joint presence in secondary cities in China
2/ Consolidate our position of European leader (with 92 flights/week) between Greater China and Europe
3/ Further invest in our products to better meet the Chinese expectations
At the end, our ambition is to be the most preferred European airlines for Chinese customers