Crash in China, a rare disaster for state airlines | Economic news

By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China is, along with North America and Europe, one of the world’s top three air travel markets. It has significantly improved safety since a series of fatal crashes in the 1990s and 2000s.

China hasn’t reported a commercial flight accident with more than five fatalities since 2010. The ruling Communist Party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army, has also suffered fatal crashes, but few details are available. available.

CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES CORP.

China Eastern is, along with Air China, China Southern Airlines and HNA Group, one of the four major state-owned carriers in China. Founded in 1995, the airline is headquartered at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Its fleet of 749 planes includes 291 of the Boeing 737 series, according to its mid-2021 interim report. The carrier has 79,913 employees, mostly in China. It carried 44.3 million passengers in the first half of 2021. China Eastern reported a loss of 5.4 billion yuan ($850 million) in the first half of 2021.

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Carriers have suffered heavy financial losses due to the government’s “zero tolerance” anti-coronavirus strategy, which bans most foreign visitors from China and has disrupted travel by temporarily suspending access to major cities. Passenger numbers in China surpassed those in the United States in 2020 for the first time, according to Boeing Co. That’s partly because populous China reopened to domestic travel relatively quickly after coronavirus cases were reported there. first reported in late 2019. Boeing forecasts annual traffic growth of 5.4%. and says China is expected to account for one-sixth of future additional air capacity.

An Embraer ERJ 190-100 operated by Henan Airlines and carrying a total of 44 passengers and crew hit the ground short of the runway on August 24, 2010, while landing in the northeast city of Yichun from the country. Everyone on board was killed after the fuel caught fire. Investigators blamed pilot error, who was landing at night and in reduced visibility.

China is one of the most important markets for Boeing and its European rival Airbus Industries. They want Chinese carriers to boost sales as US and European demand flattens.

The ruling Communist Party wants to compete with them by manufacturing its own airliners and possibly exporting them.

The state-owned COMAC, or Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, launched a short-range airliner, the ARJ21, with seating for up to 105 passengers, and the larger but short-range C919 with up to 190 seats. The company says it is working on a long-haul twin-aisle aircraft, the C929, that can carry up to 290 passengers.

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