Benchmarking the performance of Chinese airlines: An investigation of productivity, yield and cost competitiveness

Kun Wang, Xingli Fan, Xiaowen Fu, Yiran Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In the past decade, the Chinese airline industry experienced extraordinary growth in size and profitability. However, no quantitative study has investigated the performance of Chinese airlines in terms of productivity and cost competitiveness. This study investigates the leading Chinese airlines' productivity, yield, cost competitiveness and input prices, and benchmarks them against major airlines around the world. It finds that Chinese airlines' productivity has improved significantly in the past decade but still lags behind that of industry leaders. Chinese carriers enjoyed high yields and low input prices in the domestic market, which led to high profitability in recent years. However, their cost advantage has been diminishing. To sustain long-term growth, Chinese airlines need to adopt the industry's best practices in a timely manner. Both the aviation markets and input markets in China should be further liberalized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Airline productivity
  • Chinese airlines
  • Unit cost competitiveness
  • Yields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

Cite this