Singapore Airshow highlights

China’s open-skies policy huge for low-cost carriers: Honeywell

Honeywell Aerospace takes to the skies with COMAC
Honeywell Aerospace takes to the skies with COMAC

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.

Passengers walk through the terminal building of Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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