Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chengdu Airlines Network, Winter 2011-12

Today, China has such a great many airlines, many named solely after a certain large city. Although the massive province of Sichuan has its own Sichuan Airlines, its capital, colossal Chengdu, also has its own namesake carrier, 成都航空有限公司.

Chengdu Airlines most-recent route map from its website is shown above. The landmass of the People's Republic is made of cloud, a lovely detail, over which is laid the sizable network of the regional carrier, which seems to be expanding rapidly, as its Wikipedia article, updated only a year ago, shows only 15 destinations.

For the English-speaker, the network is still a bit mysterious, as only the Chinese characters are used to label the destinations. Thanks to Google Translate, we can establish many of the principal airports that Chengdu Airlines flies to:

北京 Beijing 宁波 Ningbo
长沙 Changsha 上海 Shanghai
成都 Chengdu Shenyang
重庆 Chongqing 深圳 Shenzhen
大连 Dalian 石家庄 Shijiazhuang
福州 Fuzhou 乌鲁木齐 Urumqi
广州 Guangzhou 武汉 Wuhan
杭州 Hangzhou 西安 Xi'an
昆明 Kunming 厦门 Xiamen
南京 Nanjing

The great number of routes out of Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport itself (成都) are clear, and the hub is marked by the tailfin emblazoned with the company's logo. Further east, the airline appears to have a focal point at Changsha (长沙) and a serves many coastal cities in the massive Shanghai megalopolis: beyond Hongqiao airport, Nanjing (南京), Ningbo (宁波) and Hangzhou (杭州) are also shown here.

Farther north, the great Capital Airport at Beijing (北京) is represented by a diminutive star, with only a single route connecting it. As far as Chengdu Airlines own network is concerned, the northern focus city is apparently Shijiazhuang (石家庄 ), in Hebei province, southwest of Beijing.

The huge factory of the country, in Guangdong province, is underserved, with only a few routes connecting Guangzhou (广州) and Shenzhen (深圳). In the northwest, a pair of long routes land at the capital of Xinjiang, Urumqi (乌鲁木齐).

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