China's high-speed rail has changed the scale of the civil aviation industry, an aviation professional said recently.
"We used to believe that trips within 800 km were the bullet train's market. But with the development of China's high-speed rail network, the market may expand to trips within 1,000 km," said Han Zhiliang, president of Beijing Capital International Airport.
The impact from bullet trains has been seen by China's three major State-owned airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, according to their latest half-year earnings reports.
Air China said in its report that China has built the largest high-speed train network in the world, and the routes are expanding to the mid-western area.
For medium and short-haul trips, many passengers prefer to choose high-speed trains as their way of transportation, given their high frequencies, cheap prices, on-time arrivals and convenience, placing the civil aviation sector at a disadvantage.
The increase of international competition and complicated global politics also challenge China's civil aviation industry. However, big challenges come along with great opportunities.
China's steady economic growth and opening-up policies have shed lights on the development of civil aviation, Han said.