Fleet growth has been relatively steady with the airline only accepting its 11th A320 series aircraft in July 2013 and not adding anymore as of yet. The initial fleet was a single A320 though this was joined by three more before the end of 2007. The current breakdown is 7 A320s and 4 A319s.
Chongqing itself is a very competitive market. In November 2014 no airline grouping had more than 20% of the market with China Southern sat on 12.4%. Chongqing Airlines codeshares with its parent so it is difficult to see its own share of the pie, however CZ is outgunned by Air China, Sichuan Airlines and the HNA Group (Hainan and West Air in this case). Development of the Western regions of China has been a focus for the Government and between 2010 and 2011 Chonqjing Jiangbei grew its passenger numbers by 18.9% and it was the 10th busiest airport in China. Annual passenger volumes at the airport have increased from only 11.1 million in 2008 to 22.1 million in 2012.
China is keen to develop low cost airlines and one of Chongqing Airlines primary competitors, HNA Group's West Air, has transitioned to the low cost model. The lower GDP of the western regions is seen as an important factor in enabling greater sustainability for airline operations fitting with the low cost structure of LCCs. The actions of the CAAC however have not always enabled LCCs to develop even since the concept gained official blessing. China Southern is in the process of converting Chongqing Airlines to the low cost model and in January 2014 the airline began to remove first/business class seats from its A319s. The initial signs are promising as the USD17 million loss reported in 2013 was turned into a USD13.2 million profit in 2014. By May 2015 the airline had reconfigured 7 of its fleet and with the airline increasingly familiar with the LCC model it should be expected that growth is just around the corner.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: