Ahead of this year's World Routes forum, Routesonline is providing another look at our series of articles on the leading airlines and airports and most used aircraft types across regions of the world last year. Here we look closely at the airlines of North East Asia and highlight the region's top performers.
The data is all supplied by OAG Aviation using its OAG Schedules Analyser tool.
Scheduled Air Capacity From North East Asia (2005 - 2014)
Our analysis of published schedules for the past ten years shows that air capacity within and from North East Asia has risen from 484,722,444 available seats in 2005 to 866,666,021 available seats in 2014. This represents a growth of 78.8 per cent across the period, an average annual increase of 8.8 per cent. In the past year capacity increased 7.1 per cent.
Top Ten Airlines in the North East Asian Market (2014)
The growing significance of China in the global aviation market is quite clear when you look at the top ten largest operators based on seat capacity within and from North East Asia. With growing fleets and networks, it is no surprise that China leads the way with seven mainland carriers in the top ten and many other second and third tier operators moving quickly up the ranking just outside these positions.
It is China Southern Airlines that leads the way with a 12.0 per cent share of capacity within and from North East Asia in 2014, a growing share that thanks to a 9.0 per cent capacity growth between 2013 and 2014 has seen its dominance of the available seats in the region increasing 0.2 percentage points.
It is followed by Chinese rival China Eastern Airlines which has a 10.4 per cent share, down from 10.8 per cent in 2013, which together with China Southern make the region a stronghold for the SkyTeam alliance, while Japan’s All Nippon Airways is third with an 8.9 per cent share, down from 9.9 per cent the previous year and Air China ranked fourth with a 7.8 per cent capacity share in 2014.
Alongside All Nippon, fellow Japanese carrier, Japan Airlines (5.7 per cent) and Korean Air (3.1 per cent) make up the other non-Chinese operators in the top ten.
Fastest Growing Airlines in the North East Asian Market (2010-2014)
Looking at capacity data in the region across a five year period, it is the emerging second tier airlines and low-cost operators in China that have shown the largest capacity growth across the region.
Hainan Airlines subsidiary, Beijing Capital Airlines reported the largest year-on-year growth among the top twenty airlines serving this region with capacity rising 495.0 per cent between 2010 and 2014. The airline, formerly known as Deer Jet Airlines, is based at Beijing Capital International Airport and provides domestic operations.
Significant growth during this timescale was also recorded by low-cost carrier Spring Airlines as it established itself as China’s largest budget operator. It has more than tripled its own capacity in the region across the five year period with available seats rising 208.5 per cent. Elsewhere, Tianjin Airlines (up 176.8 per cent) and Juneyao Airlines (up 117.5) also more than doubled capacity across the period.
China Airlines was the fastest growing of the top twenty airlines in North East Asia from outside of mainland China with the Taiwanese national carrier increasing capacity 34.9 per cent between 2010 and 2014, while Hong Kong-based Dragonair, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways boosted its seat offering by 34.8 per cent during the period.
Data comparison between 2013 and 2014 shows a steady level of growth among the top ten airlines in the region by capacity, but with the dominance of China in this regional analysis it is home to the top six fastest growing airlines among the top ten operators in this region showing the largest year-on-year growth
Shenzhen Airlines reported the largest rise in capacity within and from North East Asia between 2013 and 2014 with growth of 10.8 per cent. Sichuan Airlines was the only other airline among the ten largest carriers in the region to report double-digit year-on-year growth with available capacity rising 10.2 per cent over the past year.
Notable growth was also recorded by Hainan Airlines (up 9.1 per cent), China Southern Airlines (up 9.0 per cent), while Japan Airlines was the fastest growing non-Chinese airline among the ten largest carriers in the region with capacity up 3.3 per cent. The two other non-Chinese airlines in the top ten recorded capacity declines between 2013 and 2014: All Nippon Airways (down 3.7 per cent) and Korean Air (down 0.2 per cent).
Looking at the wider top twenty airports in the region it is Spring Airlines that recorded the largest year-on-year capacity growth between 2013 and 2014 with a rise of 22.1 per cent. Double-digit growth was also recorded by Tianjin Airlines (up 18.2 per cent) Juneyao Airlines (up 15.6 per cent) and Beijing Capital Airlines (up 15.4 per cent).
Scheduled North East Asia Capacity by Aircraft Type
The chart below shows which aircraft types were most prevalent in the North East Asian market during 2014. The schedule data shows the Airbus A320 (320) is the most widely used aircraft type in this market with a 20.1 per cent share of available seats with overall network capacity up 9.6 per cent between 2013 and 2014 from 159.08 million seats to 174.35 million seats.
The second most utilised aircraft type in this market is the Boeing 737-800 (738) with a 18.5 per cent share, while third most widely operated type by network capacity is the Boeing 737 all series (737) with a 9.6 per cent share.
The biggest rise in annual capacity among the top ten aircraft types were recorded by the Boeing 767-300 (763) with a 43.8 per cent rise in available seats in 2014 versus 2013, while the usage of the Boeing 777-200 (772) increased by 33.1 per cent. All ten of the most heavily utilised aircraft types in the region showed capacity growth between 2013 and 2014.