Bordering Vietnam, Laos and Burma, the Yunnan province is the most southwest province of China and boasts diverse topographies.
Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan is known in china as the City of Eternal Spring, serves as a hub from which to explore the Yunnan Province. There are 4 UNESCO listed World Heritages in Yunnan out of a total of 43 in China.
The market potential for Kunming is large, but the lack of direct flights to the region lead to higher travel costs, more travel time and inconvenience. According to IATA O&D data in 2013, there were 50,999 O&D passengers from Europe to Kunming, and 33,337 O&D passengers from North America to Kunming.
The shortage of direct flights could be impeding the total traffic to the region, and figures show that in 2013, 262,200 North American tourists and 816,000 European tourists visited the Yunnan province based on statistics from the Yunnan Tourism Development Committee. The introduction of direct flights could benefit the region, and this can be proved with the difference in figures once a direct route to Dubai was introduced by China Eastern in 2010, who now offer three flights per week. The traffic grew by 19732 percent from 150 O&D passengers per year to 29,748 passengers per year in 2011 compared to 2010.
Kunming Changshui International Airport is ideally located at a position connecting China with ASEAN and South Asia, making it a good option for connecting traffic. The catchment area of five flight hours covers 3.4 billion people, including 1.3 billion Chinese, 1.5 billion South Asians and 0.6 billion ASEANs.
Currently, Kunming Changshui International Airport operates 44 international routes and 225 domestic routes, which connect to 31 international destinations and 97 domestic cities, including all major and secondary cities in China. The airport operates 24 daily flights to Beijing, 23 daily to Shanghai, 17 daily to Guangzhou, and 14 daily to Shenzhen.
Kunming Changshui International Airport operates 118 direct flights to ASEAN destinations, and 23 direct flights to South Asia per week.
To make direct flights viable, local authorities, including the provincial government, the municipal government and the airport authority, also offer substantial incentives for direct routes connecting destinations in the regions.