Spring Air­lines pro­motes air-train East China ser­vice

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESSCOMPANIES - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Spring Air­lines, the na­tion’s only bud­get car­rier, is join­ing hands with a re­gional bureau af­fil­i­ated to the Min­istry of Rail­ways by launch­ing a one­hour air-train travel ser­vice for pas­sen­gers in East China, the car­rier told a me­dia brief­ing on Tues­day. Shang­hai- based Spring Air­lines re­leased its new airplus-high-speed-train prod­uct with Shang­hai Rail­way Bureau on Tues­day. Pas­sen­gers tak­ing flights with Spring Air­lines to or out of Shang­hai can get free high-speed train tick­ets to the cities of Suzhou, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Ji­ax­ing, which are all within a one-hour train jour­ney from Shang­hai in the Yangtze River Delta re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to the low-cost car­rier, pas­sen­gers have been able to book their trips to and from th­ese cities through Spring Air­lines on­line since Tues­day.

Spring Air­lines plans to ex­tend the air-train ser­vice to more East China cities in Septem­ber, in­clud­ing Kun­shan, Ningbo, Yiwu and Zhen­jiang, said Wang Zhenghua, founder and chair­man of Spring Air­lines.

By of­fer­ing such a ser­vice, Wang be­lieves the low-cost car­rier will have a bet­ter ticket- price com­pet­i­tive­ness. Spring Air­lines of­fers be­tween a 20 and 40 per­cent lower-than-mar­ket aver­age ticket price, ac­cord­ing to Wang.

“This is not the first time that we are of­fer­ing such a ser­vice to­gether with do­mes­tic air­lines. We can de­sign more mar­ket-ori­ented prod­ucts for tar­get cus­tomers of spe­cific air­lines,” said Zhao Jun, deputy di­rec­tor of the Shang­hai Rail­way Bureau.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhao, the bureau launched the na­tion’s first air- plus- train prod­uct for pas­sen­gers to­gether with China Eastern Air­lines Co Ltd as early as May 2012. Last Novem­ber, they launched a sim­i­lar prod­uct with Air China Ltd in Shang­hai.

“At a time when the rail­way depart­ment is un­der­go­ing an un­prece­dented re­struc­tur­ing and trans­for­ma­tion, we should learn more from the suc­cess­ful ex­pe­ri­ences of both State-owned com­pa­nies and pri­vately owned en­ter­prises,” said Zhao.

“In May 2012, we launched this prod­uct, which will book and pay for the high-speed train tick­ets if pas­sen­gers of China Eastern need to go to cities near Shang­hai or Wuhan,” said Zhang Chi, a se­nior man­ager with the mar­ket­ing de­vel­op­ment depart­ment of the mar­ket­ing and sales com­mit­tee of China Eastern.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhang, there are about 10,000 pas­sen­gers us­ing this spe­cial ser­vice pro­vided by China Eastern ev­ery month at the mo­ment. “More and more cus­tomers are get­ting used to book­ing this ser­vice from us,” said Zhang, who re­called that at the launch of the ser­vice only a few hun­dred peo­ple monthly would travel by the air-plus-train method.

The air-plus-train prod­uct from China Eastern cur­rently cov­ers des­ti­na­tions close to Shang­hai in­clud­ing Nan­jing, Zhen­jiang, Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, Kun­shan, Ji­ax­ing, Tongx­i­ang, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Taizhou, Yiwu, Danyang. Near Wuhan it serves Jingzhou and Yichang.

“The cities are cho­sen ac­cord­ing to mar­ket de­mand and the avail­abil­ity of high­speed trains. This is why des­ti­na­tions as far as Ningbo and Taizhou are also in­cluded in our prod­uct,” said Zhang.

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