There are three characteristics of China’s airlines flying long-haul: first is the role of government pushing and often subsidising routes, even on outbound-heavy leisure flights, such as to Europe. There are some elements of a herd mentality: witness China Southern expanding in North America after Air China. And then there is domination: China Southern in a few years became a common name inAustralia while Air China will soon have three daily flights between Beijing and Los Angeles.

Chinese airlines have grown in Australia, North America and Europe. The missing continent in their growth story is Africa (South America will be only a small component).

Chinese airlines have come and gone in Africa, but 2015 should cement efforts to link Africa with China. China Southern will open a service to Nairobi, in addition to Air China’s previously announcedJohannesburg service. For the airlines, Africa will be a very different market from Australia, Europe and North America. It will not be as big or sustainable, but it will now start to grow after many quiet years, with strong overtones of trade flows… Full Story here

Credit: The China Africa Project