Bright skies for aviation industry
The increase in Chinese airline passengers in recent years has experts predicting a bright future for the industry. US aviation giant Boeing estimates that China will need 5,000 new aircraft worth $600 billion, by 2030, according to media reports.
Related: Air fleet will triple - Boeing
Of the new orders, 16 percent will replace old aircraft and 84 percent will be additions to the air fleet, said Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing at Boeing's commercial plane section.
In 2010, 267 million passengers traveled by air in China, up 16 percent from the previous year and a 16-fold increase from 1990. Of the 20 busiest airports in China, five are in what the airline industry designates as western China with Chengdu 7th, Kunming 9th, Xi'an 10th, Chongqing 12th and Urumqi 20th.
In 2010 Beijing Capital International Airport was the busiest Chinese airport with 73.95 million passengers. Hong Kong came second with 50.9 million passengers.
Beijing airport was also the world's second busiest in 2010 after London's Heathrow.
Wang Jian, former secretary-general of the China Civil Airport Association, cited the country's economic development and improved living standards as reasons behind rapid airport development.
Many airports offer airlines subsidies to encourage them to establish connecting flights, he said.