POST TIME: 7 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
More companies choose to fly from Yunnan to the wider world
Liu Ziyu

More companies choose to fly from Yunnan to the wider world

Recently, at Yunnan Airport Logistics Co. Ltd. in the Kunming Changshui International Airport(also called Kunming Airport), workers were busy loading truffles, flowers and electronic devices onto planes. "The truffles were picked up in the morning and transported to Kunming by air. This evening they will be served on tables in Bangkok or Tokyo," said Sun Chao, a company executive, while pointing at a 25-kilogram box. At present, about 3,000 boxes of truffles are transported on a daily basis, and the freight volume will be even larger in September and October.

Last year, the company completed a total of 216,500 inbound and outbound flights, an increase of ten percent year-on-year. It achieved a total cargo throughput of 281,300 tons, an increase of 13.47 percent year-on-year, and an international cargo throughput of 43,800 tons, an increase of 173.75 percent year-on-year. The growth is attributable to improved distribution functions at Kunming Airport and the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

By 2017, Kunming Airport had opened 359 routes, including 280 domestic, 76 international and three regional ones. Among all Chinese airports, Kunming Airport now operates flights to the largest number of cities of South and Southeast Asia. In the first half of 2018, these routes covered ten Southeast Asian countries and five South Asian countries, connecting Kunming with 35 different cities. In the same period, the airport handled about 178,400 flights, and achieved a passenger throughput of 23.31 million people, a cargo throughput of 212,300 tons. These statistics rose by 3.2 percent, 5.2 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively.

Currently, 15 civilian airports are in operation in the province. Yunnan Airport Group has increased its air routes from 316 in 2012 to 485 in 2017. Specifically, the number of domestic routes has increased from 272 to 403, and the number of routes to other countries and regions, has increased from 44 to 82.

Given the multiple advantages Yunnan possesses, more and more companies are choosing to fly from this province to the outside world. "Most cities in China, as well as those in South and Southeast Asian countries, are within 3,000 kilometres of Kunming. North Asia and the Middle East are also within 5,000 kilometres of the city,” said Yang Fan, general manager of Uni-top Group's Yunnan Base. In the future, the group plans to open more air routes to Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas so as to take greater advantage of Kunming as a cargo transhipment centre. Also, Uni-top Group has signed a cooperative agreement with Yunnan Airport Group and the Kunming Comprehensive Bonded Zone. It hopes to better leverage the advantages of the Yunnan-centred air network and China's opening policy to develop bonded trade, warehousing, cross-border e-commerce and other businesses platforms.