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Airports handle nearly 17 pct more passengers in 2007
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China's airports handled 387.59 million passengers last year, a growth of 16.8 percent on the previous year, a source with the General Administration of Civil Aviation said on Friday.

Regular flight services covered 148 airports and 146 cities nationwide.

The total passenger number included 349.25 million passengers handled for domestic flights, up 16.7 percent, and 38.33 million for international flights, up 17.5 percent.

According to industry observers, it was noteworthy that the growth rate for international flights outdid that for domestic flights in 2007.They believed the continuous appreciation of Chinese currency contributed to the impressive growth for international flight services last year.

Last year also saw Chinese airports handle 8.61 million tons of cargo and mail, up 14.3 percent.

The growth rate was lower than the 2006 level of 19 percent. The observers said the slowdown was due largely to price rises for oil and the rapid expansion of oceanic shipping worldwide.

The total cargo and mail transport volume included 5.54 million tons for domestic flights, up 9.9 percent, and 3.07 million tons for international flights, up 23.3 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2008)

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