China's airline industry is an improbable blend of state control and regulation, traditional culture, modern market reality and a zeal for profit, yet it works. Twenty-five years ago there were just 180 air routes in the country, 18 of them international, and only 3.43 million passengers took to the vacant skies annually. Today China has overtaken Japan as the largest air travel market in Asia and is second only to the US in terms of total scheduled departing seats, according to the ITTC ...

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