China's Major Airlines Dominate First Airport Slot Auction

  • Seven carriers win nine slots at Guangzhou Baiyun airport
  • Shanghai Pudong slated to try 'ballot and fee' model

China’s largest airlines were the big winners as the country conducted its first auction for airport landing slots, a move intended to improve transparency in the allocation process. 

Thirty-four domestic airlines participated in Wednesday’s auction for nine slots at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, which raised 550 million yuan ($85 million),  according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

China Eastern Airlines Corp., along with units of Air China Ltd., China Southern Airlines Co. and Hainan Airlines Co., were among seven successful bidders for the slots, the official China Daily newspaper reported Thursday.

The auction is part of a trial unveiled in early December involving competitive slot allocation at two airports in the world’s second-largest travel market. Airlines can take part in a "ballot plus fee" allocation model at Shanghai Pudong International Airport from next month.

The auctioned slots are valid for three years from Jan. 31, during which carriers will be allowed to exchange, transfer or lease them in the secondary market. Chinese airlines must have a clean safety record for two straight years to participate in the trial.

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