China’s open-skies policy huge for low-cost carriers: Honeywell
A recent decision by China to open up its skies could be a "game changing" move for low-cost carriers, Brian Davis, vice president, Asia-Pacific at Honeywell Aerospace, said on Tuesday.
"At the end of 2013, China's new leadership opened up the skies to embrace and attract low-cost competition to mainland China. This is a significant game-changing move," Davis said on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow.
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"As the citizen base starts to move into the middle class, the low-cost carrier market is going to certainly attract a lot of people that have the income to start flying," he added.
Davis said Honeywell expected to announce a deal this week with a major carrier in China for its GX Aviation system that allows reliable in-flight connectivity for ipads, smartphones and tablet devices.
Rapid growth in China's economy has helped fuel demand for travel among a growing consumer class, making China an important market for airlines and the companies that supply the industry with equipment such as Honeywell.
"China is a very important market for us and if you think about the number of people that are growing from a low-income bracket to a middle-income bracket, the low cost carriers are going to be one of the touch points they have to enjoy the opportunity of travel," Davis said.
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China's domestic airline passenger grew almost 12 percent last year, helping drive a 4.9 percent increase in global domestic passenger traffic, according to the International Air Transport Association.
-By CNBC's Dhara Ranasinghe. Follow her on Twitter at @DharaCNBC