IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES AS CHINA'S FAST-GROWING ECONOMY generated strong market demand for her airlines in recent years. It was the worst of times as the airline industry at large was hit hard by a succession of external shocks after 9/11 such as SARS, Avian flu and the dramatic run-up in fuel costs since 2004. China's air transport industry also has struggled with the rise of new entrants and domestic competition and the aftereffects of the government-mandated consolidation that saw the ...

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