Air Transport World

China is freezing.

China is freezing new aircraft orders in 1998, a top Chinese aviation official said. The move, said Wang Zhi of the CAAC, is designed to lessen China's current overcapacity that is forcing many carriers into the red. The usual figure cued is losses of up to $500 million across the sector by the big three carriers, with China Eastern, China Southern and Air China each having losses of around $l20 million.

China still is expected to accept delivery of the 43 airplanes scheduled to arrive this year, Wang said. Since the current year also will see 40 aircraft retired from the fleet, those on order will not result in an increase, he said. …

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