Infographic: China's Biggest Airlines

Each month, we track the Chinese aviation market including the busiest airports, routes, cities, provinces and more. We're shining the spotlight on airlines this month, so as China's air travel recovery starts to pick up pace, which are the biggest airlines leading the way in China?

Chinas Biggest Airlines Infographic 2024

The top three biggest airlines for domestic capacity in China are China Southern, China Eastern and Air China. Between them, they operate 58% of China's domestic capacity in February 2024.

  • China Southern: 11.6m seats
  • China Eastern: 10.5m seats
  • Air China: 8.4m seats

The next largest Chinese airline behind the top three is Hainan Airlines, with 4,166,558 seats this month - less than half of Air China's capacity.

Compared to February 2023, China Southern has increased capacity by 11%, as has China Eastern. Air China is up 23% on the same month in 2023.

Spring Airlines, whilst operating around one fifth the number of seats as China Southern, are the country's largest Low-Cost Carrier and have recorded strong growth, with capacity up 21% vs February 2023.

As the leading carrier in China, China Southern's hub airports are Guangzhou which is also the busiest airport in China this February - and Beijing Daxing, which is 8th on the list of China's Busiest Airports for the month.

Shanghai airports Pudong and Hongqiao are the 6th and 10th busiest airports in China in February 2024 and serve as the main hubs for China Eastern,

Air China's key hubs are  Beijing Capital and Chengdu, with Beijing Capital being the third busiest in the country and Chengdu fourth.

As recovery gathers pace, China's airlines face the challenge of meeting both  increasing domestic and international capacity demands. Follow what happens next by bookmarking our China Aviation Market Dashboard.