China will push for further liberalisation of its air cargo market because it is vital to boosting trade flows and expand economic activity.
“China, as the biggest exporting country in international trade, relies heavily on air cargo business. We are taking a proactive attitude towards air cargo liberalisation,” said Han Jun, director general, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). “We will follow the international trend of liberalisation, particularly for cargo development,” he said to a CAAC-sponsored Air Cargo Development Forum.
According to Han, the agreement for cargo services between China and the US already includes the open skies element, ahead of passenger arrangements and before any other of 115 air-service agreements the country had signed. Of the agreements signed with 114 countries and the ASEAN, 21 have introduced unlimited capacity entitlements for all cargo services while eight allow transiting for cargo traffic destined for third-party countries.
Wang Zhiqing, deputy chief of CAAC, said China would seek to liberalise its cargo market in a “positive, gradual, moderate and secure manner”. He said, “We will lower access requirements as appropriate and also encourage Chinese airlines to expand their international routes to more domestic points, work with foreign operators to create international routes.”
Glyn Hughes, global head of cargo at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said “air cargo being an enabler and facilitator of international trade, liberalisation will lead to lower costs and higher efficiency.”