Price war declared as ticket sales start for world's fastest train
17:36, December 18, 2009
China's railway stations Friday began selling passenger tickets for the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway, which boasts the world's fastest train journey with a 350-km-per-hour average speed.
The service between Wuhan, the largest city in central China, and Guangzhou City, a business hub in the southern Guangdong Province, was scheduled to start on Dec. 26.
The journey of 1,068.6 kilometers would take three hours, compared with the previous 10 and a half hours, said an official with the Wuhan railway bureau.
Tickets from Wuhan to Guangzhou ranged from 490 yuan (72 U.S. dollars) to 780 yuan, almost the same as airline tickets.
The China-made bullet trains reached a maximum speed of 394.2 km per hour in trial operations on Dec. 20, said Sun Bangcheng, general engineer of the Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co., Ltd of ChinaCNR Corporation Ltd, the manufacturer of the trains.
Bullet train going through Mi River Bridge
China's government has launched a major upgrading of the nation's overstretched railway system. It will build 42 high-speed passenger rail lines with a total length of 13,000 kilometers in the next three years.
The country opened the first high-speed railway between Beijing and Tianjin last year.
With the expanding network of highways, bullet trains could further open up travel to millions of Chinese, while putting the pressure on airlines.
"The price for Wuhan-Guangzhou line is reasonable, although it is a little bit higher than discounted flight price," said Wu Bin, a businessman who traveled between the cities frequently. "The time of the rail journey is even shorter than by air, because I can avoid security checks as well as long trips between the airports and city centers."
To attract passengers, China Southern Airlines (CSA) Thursday announced an express service with 30 flights traveling between Guangzhou, Wuhan and Changsha from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
The airfare from Wuhan to Guangzhou dived to 190 yuan at the lowest, compared with the previous level at about 1,000 yuan.
When a network of high-speed passenger rail lines traveling at 250 to 350 km per hour is finished in 2012, it will cover almost every major city with a large population. Almost 80 percent of the civil transportation market will be affected.
"We can only survive the competition by reducing costs and improving services," said Si Xianmin, general manager of CSA.
Airbus maintaining an active China presence and plans on expanding
08:53, January 27, 2011
The first A380 for China Southern Airlines is rolling out of the hangar at the A380 final assembly line in Toulouse, France. China Southern will become the first A380 operator in China this year. Photos provided to China Daily
In 2010, Airbus delivered more than 110 new aircraft to Chinese airlines from Toulouse in France, Hamburg in Germany and Tianjin in China, accounting for 22 percent of the company's total production in the year, or one of every five aircraft Airbus delivered in 2010 was for Chinese airlines.
Most of these were from the A320 Family, including 26 that were assembled by FALC in Tianjin. The in-service Airbus aircraft fleet in China has grown to over 650.
Airbus delivered its first aircraft to China in 1985, and has been providing Chinese customers with a comprehensive range of aircraft services, since then, to ensure smooth, continued operations.
Airbus has had fruitful cooperation with China's civil aviation authorities and says that it is committed to forging a long-term strategic partnership.
Airbus has a representative office in Beijing and several joint ventures in China: the Hua'ou Aviation Training and Support Center, and the Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Center in Beijing; the Airbus A320 Family Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin and Airbus (Tianjin) Delivery Center; and the Harbin Hafei Composite Manufacturing Center in Heilongjiang.
In November, during President Hu Jintao's visit to France, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) signed an agreement with Airbus for 102 aircraft, 66 of them new orders.
These new orders consist of 50 A320 Family aircraft, six A330s, and 10 A350 XWBs.
In August, Lhasa's Tibet Airlines placed an order for three A319s, becoming Airbus' newest China customer.
This demonstrated the advantage Airbus aircraft offer for high-altitude airports. According to statistics, more than 80 percent of the commercial flights to and from Tibet involve Airbus aircraft, most of them A319s, the others, A330s.
The airline says it is planning to expand its fleet to some 20 aircraft over the next five years.
All of the company's industrial cooperation projects in China are doing well.
By the end of 2010, 37 FALC-assembled A320 aircraft had been delivered to eight Chinese airlines.
The performance of the Tianjin-assembled aircraft has been recognized as being "at least as good as that of European-assembled aircraft".
Airbus has completed its allocation of sets of work for the five percent of the A350 XWB airframe that will be manufactured in China as the company signed a contract with the CAC Commercial Aircraft Company (CCAC) in September.
The Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center has been allocated four sets of the work.
Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Center has contributed six sets of work to the Airbus A330-200F program related to the new freighter's design.
In addition, Airbus is cooperating with Chinese universities and institutions in research projects. In 2006, it signed framework agreements with four leading universities. Six of these projects have been completed, three are underway, and two more are about to begin.
In 2007, Airbus began cooperating in aeronautical materials and aeronautical manufacturing technology with Chinese aeronautical research institutes. So far, eight projects have been completed and three are still underway.
This year, the company began cooperating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences on a project scheduled for completion in 2012.
Airbus has also cooperated with Chinese authorities in improving the management of the aviation industry overall. For example, it joined the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in holding the third Strategic Aviation Management Seminar, in July 2010. This applied to senior management of CAAC and its subsidiaries.
This year, Airbus will continue to expand its China activities and expects to develop not just manufacturing but also new business and services in connectivity, air traffic management, aviation finance, and environmental protection.