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China Expects 100 Million Air Passengers by 2005

BEIJING, August 8 -- Officials with civil aviation departments have estimated that the number of Chinese air passengers will grow by eight percent annually to hit 100 million by the year 2005.

Experts, entrepreneurs and high-ranking officials from home and abroad, who were attending a symposium Tuesday on the development of China's civil aviation industry in the new century, estimated that by 2005, China's civil airlines will have a total of 790 planes in operation, an increase of 34 percent over 2000. The figure is expected to reach 1,600 by 2015, Tuesday's Beijing Evening News reported.

Officials with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) revealed that the annual growth rate of the world's air passenger transportation volume will be two percent higher than the economic growth rate in the coming decade, and some 22,000 airplanes will be put into use in the next 20 years worldwide, the newspaper said.

It is said that the flight transportation capacity in the Asia-Pacific region will account for half of the figure via regular flights in the world, according to the newspaper.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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