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December 18, 2009

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Home » Business » Transport

Airline fights back against high-speed railway

CHINA Southern Airlines yesterday launched express routes linking Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, with Wuhan and Changsha in central China to avert any loss of passengers to a high-speed railway which starts operations next week.

The Guangzhou-based airline will offer 14 daily flights between Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, and Guangzhou, and 16 between Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, and Guangzhou.

The airline, the country's largest by fleet size, is offering promotional tickets till March 28 next year on the two routes. Tickets for the Wuhan-Guangzhou flights cost 390 yuan (US$57), lower than 780 yuan for a first-class train ticket and 490 yuan for a second-class ticket.

The Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway, which starts running on December 26, will take three hours compared with 1.5 hours by air. The Changsha-Guangzhou line will take no more than two hours compared to one hour by air.

Passengers who transit in Guangzhou en route from Wuhan or Changsha to Europe, the United States or Australia can get free flights on the two routes if they book return tickets, China Southern said.

Other carriers, including Air China and Hainan Airlines, have cut ticket prices on the routes by 80 percent.


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