Frequency and aircraft size dynamics in a concentrated growth market: The case of the Chinese domestic market

Kun Wang, Qiang Gong, Xiaowen Fu, Xingli Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the explosive growth of the Chinese aviation sector and the major industry reforms undertaken in recent decades, the Chinese domestic market remains highly concentrated with a significant element of regulation and governmental control in areas such as market entry and airline fleet planning. In this study, we investigate the frequency strategies and aircraft choices of airlines operating in this concentrated growth market. Our empirical investigation suggests that airlines mainly accommodate rapid traffic growth by flying more frequently, although increased aircraft size also contributes to market expansion. We also find a negative relationship between market concentration and flight frequency. Due to the more balanced market structure resulting from mergers among leading airlines since 2002, there has been a moderate reduction in market concentration at route level, contributing to a 3.7% increase in traffic volume from 2002 to 2008. The results of our study suggest that Chinese travelers have yet to fully enjoy the benefits of market liberalization, and airports should prioritize increasing capacity related to aircraft movements over the accommodation of larger aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aircraft size
  • Chinese airlines
  • Flight frequency
  • Market concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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