Honorable Mr. Wang, Deputy Director-General of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Honorable Mr. Liu, Deputy General Secretary of Guangdong Provincial Government, Dear Officials, Guests and Friends from the Media,
First of all, on behalf of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Co. Ltd., I'd like to extend my sincere gratitude to CAAC, Guangdong Provincial Government, Guangzhou Municipal Government, all circles of the society, travel services and airlines for your long-term support to the building of Baiyun Airport Hub. My heartfelt gratitude also goes to Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Tourism for organizing this Promotion Convention of "Flying from Guangzhou" and for the opportunity of in-depth integration of tourism and the building of Guangzhou Baiyun Airport Hub. Just now we've heard the excellent remarks from leaders in CAAC and the Air Traffic Management Bureau of CAAC. Once again, I'd like to thank the leaders from government and relevant industries for their great interest in Baiyun Airport, which further boosts our confidence in our bright future.
To quicken the steps in building Baiyun Airport Hub, last year we worked out three major projects highlighting various brands: Flying from Guangzhou, Baiyun Transit and Baiyun Logistics. Project "Flying from Guangzhou" is to provide airlines, passengers and cargo owners more convenient ground service to ensure a more comfortable and speedy trip to and from the airport. Through joint marketing, we can develop along with airlines and cargo owners. I am sure the success of this promotion convention will definitely bring about new opportunities of mutual benefits. Now I'll talk about the external conditions, internal service advantages and our expectation for Baiyun Airport.
First, a glance at the advantages in the external conditions of Baiyun Airport. Considering population density, Baiyun Airport services a huge population. In 2006, Guangzhou had 12 million residents, more than the number in places like Hong Kong which host well-developed hub airports in Asia. The population of Guangdong, at 97 million, also exceeds that of Germany, France, Britain and other countries with advanced aviation industry. Covering nine provinces of Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian and so on, and two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macao, Pan Pearl River Delta (Pan PRD) is populated by 450 million people, 1/4 of China's total and larger than the overall EU population. Over 30 million overseas Chinese and compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, all with an origin tracing back to Guangdong, are spread over 100-odd countries and regions globally.
In the meantime, Guangdong is China's most important source and place of consumption for international tourists. In 2006, Guangdong received over 100 million inbound tourists and 200 billion RMB in gross tourism revenue, accounting for 80% and 25% of China's total respectively. Concerning economic development, in 2006, Guangzhou had the 3rd largest GDP in large- and medium-sized cities in China and boasted over 200 thousand domestic and foreign-invested enterprises. The provincial economic aggregate is 2.6 trillion RMB, which takes up 1/8 of China, tops that of Hong Kong and is expected to overtake Taiwan, one of the four Asian Tigers. The nine mainland provinces in Pan PRD possess 6.6 trillion RMB of economic aggregate, approximately 1/3 of China, as well as 3.5 million domestic and foreign-invested enterprises. Against this strong economic momentum, the regional annual air cargo volume surpasses 15 million tons. From International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics of the relation between GDP and growth in air transport industry, a 1% increase in GDP will bring along 1 to 2% rise in air transport volume. It is estimated that by 2010, PRD will have maintained an annual GDP growth rate of over 10%, and a potential growth rate of air traffic volume at 15 to 20%.
Situated in southern China, Guangdong is blessed with the geographical advantage of connectivity—reaching all Chinese cities within 5 hours by air, all corners of Asia in 4 hours and Europe and America within 10 to 15 hours. The topographic feature of Guangzhou makes it the perfect passenger and cargo transit hub in Asia Pacific region. A strong multi-modal transport network also gives a hand in developing Baiyun Airport. Now there are nearly 50 domestic and international airlines operating here. It is also home to the operation headquarters of China Southern Airlines, the largest of the kind in China. Our air traffic network connects Guangzhou with 50-plus overseas and 100-odd domestic cities, building a convenient air corridor for international exchange in economy, culture and trade in PRD. In 2009, the extension of Metro Line 2 in Guangzhou will reach Baiyun Airport, enabling a quick 30-minute trip to downtown Guangzhou. Twelve highways will be connected to Baiyun Airport in 2010, promising a 2-hour trip to any PRD city and 40-minute drive to Huangpu Port, the 2nd Chinese port with an annual throughput of 100 million tons. The planned Baiyun Airport Railway Station will open a special passenger line linked to Guangzhou North Railway Station. When all these projects are completed, Baiyun Airport will turn out to be the largest multi-modal integrated transfer hub in southern China, combining air, subway, highway, railway and marine transport.
To build the Baiyun Airport Hub, we've also won the support from CAAC, local government and annual inspection organizations in the form of favorable policies, including 24-hour customs clearance, fast cross-border cargo clearance, open air traffic right, flexible air traffic regulation, easily accessible visa issuance and encouraging airline subsidy and incentives. Utilizing these favorable conditions, Baiyun Airport made great headway in three key business indexes, aircraft, passenger and cargo throughput. Particularly, passenger throughput in 2006 outstripped 26 million person-times, demonstrating a steady increase of over 13% for 5 consecutive years. The 30-million target is within reach in 2007. These accomplishments cannot be made without the cutting-edge facilities and quality services at Baiyun Airport.
Now let's talk about Baiyun Airport's advantages in service. First and foremost, top-class facilities. We have the world-leading air traffic inspection facilities, two parallel runways and one hundred gate positions, capable of taking off, landing and parking the largest aircraft, Airbus A380. The third runway under planning will be completed and put into use in 2010 and the fourth and fifth are to be planned with high standards and operated in phases. By 2013, 113 more gate positions will be built to cater for our business expansion. Terminals at Baiyun Airport are also among Asia's best. The total construction area is 350 thousand m², handling 30 million passengers per year. There are 238 check-in counters, allowing for self-service check-in, service upon arrival for domestic passengers and back-end luggage inspection. Advanced luggage system has an hourly handling capacity of 10 thousand pieces, while our state-of-the-art security inspection facility adopts a five-level system. Concerning logistics, the cargo transport area at Baiyun Airport covers more than 1 million m² and, constituted by Guangzhou air cargo station, Baiyun Airport neutral cargo terminal and customs logistics park, has an annual handling capacity of 2 million tons. Also worth mentioning are two large-sized processing centers—air express and postal transit centers. Fedex Transit Center, now under construction and owning a cargo station of over 200 thousand m², will be put into operation in 2008, by which time 600 to 800 thousand tons of incremental cargo handling capacity per year will be added, as is estimated.
Second, diversified services. Principally responsible for the operation of Baiyun Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Co. Ltd. is given the role of airport management and general assurance. Besides, its 21 branches and subsidiaries provide airlines one-stop ground agency service so that passengers can benefit from supportive services, including convenient ground transport, Easy-boarding VIP service, airline catering, hospitality, parking and business service.
Third, earnest commitment to customers. To upgrade service quality and win customer recognition, we deliver our service commitment to the whole society, including five items specifically for airlines. The first is commitment on security obligation. We promise no ground safety accident with any airport liability. The second is commitment on service standards. We'll enforce all contractual standards to the letter. The third is commitment on price discount. During initial stage of market development, we'll give price discount to new international flights in Guangzhou. The fourth is commitment on joint marketing. Working with airlines, we'll launch marketing campaign in Guangzhou and PRD. The last is commitment on policy coordination. Airlines, with our assistance, will receive a series of policy-related support, for example, policies on air traffic right, air traffic regulation, customs clearance and subsidy.
Fourth, exceptional brand of service. In 2001, Baiyun Airport passed the ISO9001 quality management system certification, standing out as the first airport under CAAC that passed this certification in an across-the-board manner, with operation, service, security and others all enclosed. On August 5, 2004, Baiyun Airport transferred seamlessly overnight to the new location, a miracle in the Chinese history of civil aviation. In 2005, the official issuance of a whole set of quality standards on air transport and outreach services and its success in passing international service certification makes Baiyun Airport the first Asian airport and Chinese enterprise obtaining SGS certification. This quality system consists of 4,317 service standards as quantitative criteria for excellent service to customers. At the same time, Baiyun Airport blazed the way in international procedure reform, serving the role model in optimizing international departure procedure among Chinese airports by being the first to place customs inspection after international flight check-in.
Baiyun Airport was titled "International Sanitary Airport" by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006. A year later, it was further awarded by China Civil Airport Association "Best Chinese Airport in Service Quality" and "Best Chinese Airport in Terminal Environment." Our next objective is to be world's Top Ten Airports in 2010.
Fifth, full potential for growth. The present daily flight capacity is 750. Judged by actual operation and our calculation, there is great potential for traffic volume growth at Baiyun Airport for an estimated 1,200 flights per day. Room for improvement in overall support capacity is also big. When the 3rd East and West Corridors are in operation in 2008, annual passenger handling capacity at Baiyun Airport will reach 40 million person-times. Along with 120-plus gate positions, the overall support capacity will be expanded by 50%. When Terminal No.2 is in use in 2013, annual passenger handling capacity will skyrocket to 80 million person-times. Coupled with 185 gate positions, a tripled overall support capacity is secured. Furthermore, progress in airport building projects and uplifting of service standards will improve the overall support capacity on the ground for Baiyun Airport.
The final part is on the prospect of Baiyun Airport. The first point to make is improvement of air transport network. Our airport will have over 80 international and more than 130 domestic air routes in 2010, exceeding 200 in total. Second, expansion of ground transport network. Passengers all across Guangdong will be greatly facilitated by 25 special passenger coach lines and terminals in 16 different cities. Third, enhancement in transit service. We are now transforming transit procedure to three ends: 1) reducing average transit time to 60--75 minutes; 2) driving up transit volume swiftly to 6.5 million transit passengers in 2010; 3) providing transit service free from luggage claiming, gradually closing the gap with international benchmarking airports. Fourth, optimization of logistics service platform. At present, Baiyun Airport has already signed the Agreement of Strategic Cooperation in Building Airport Hub with customs and other annual inspection organizations, thus securing better customs clearance conditions. To capture more return cargoes, we also start strategic cooperation with large-sized freight agents. While further developing logistics information network platform, we also upgrade hardware and software to build the logistics park at Baiyun Airport as the 2nd largest in scale in Asia Pacific. Fifth, goal for 2010 and visionary plan for 2020. The 11th five-year strategic goal and the 2020 visionary plan set the following targets. Our passenger throughput of 40 million person-times in 2010 will rank us among world's top 20 airports and a cargo throughput at 2 million tons will lift us to world's top 15. Passenger and cargo transit ratios will reach over 15% and 25% respectively, with 1/4 of all passengers being international ones. In 2015, passenger throughput will reach 60 million person-times, and cargo & mail throughput will surpass 3 million tons, optimizing and improving Baiyun Airport as a comprehensive airport hub. In 2020, passenger throughput will stand at 75 million person-times, and cargo & mail throughput will outreach 4 million tons, ranking the world's top 15 and 10 singly. And then Baiyun Airport will emerge as a highly mature comprehensive hub airport.
Let's join hands for a great prospect. We are convinced that the program "Flying from Guangzhou" will inject great vitality to the growth of Baiyun Airport Hub and bring Guangdong and Pan PRD's tourism sector new opportunities. We welcome all of you here, and sincerely hope that you can invite your friends to visit Guangdong, Pan PRD and Baiyun Airport, to experience the unique Lingnan folk culture and the service of quality and efficiency at Baiyun Airport. In the end, I wish all the leaders and friends here today every success in their life and career. Thank you.
(Full text of the remarks by Zhang Kejian, General Manager of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Co. Ltd. at "Flying from Guangzhou" Promotion Convention of the 2007 Guangdong International Tourism and Cultural Festival on November 24, 2007, as transcribed)