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Highspeed rail between two cities in China results in suspension of air services

High-speed rail trumps travel by air in China

eTN Staff Writer  Mar 31, 2010

Within less than two months after launch, a new high-speed rail link between two major Chinese cities has resulted in the suspension of all inter-city connecting flights.

The new express train travels between Zhengzhou and Xian, running at a top speed of 350 km per hour has reduced travel time between the two cities from more than six hours to less than two. It takes just over an hour to fly, but Xian's airport is also located at least an hour away by road from downtown.Subsequently, only 48 days after the railway began operations, all Zhengzhou airport flights to and from Xian have stopped.

Before the high-speed link launched, domestic airline Joy Air which flew on the route used to be able to sell an average of more than 60 percent of seats. But soon all airlines flying within China will face this problem as the Chinese government continues to spend billions of dollars on a network of high-speed railways.
The network will include the route from Beijing to the country's financial capital Shanghai according to Reuters.

By 2012, China will have more than 13,000 km of high-speed railway, affecting carriers which currently profit from the country's large size and slow roads and trains. "By then, 60 percent of China's domestic air market will be affected by the high-speed railways," Liu Chaoyong, general manager of China Eastern told Xinhua.

High-speed rail trumps travel by air in China
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