I took the Luoyang to Shanghai flight MU2043 and safely arrived in Shanghai.
Luoyang is a small city. Around 12:30, I got on board a green CITROEN taxi – Citroen taxis are among the better class of taxis in Luoyang.
Luoyang airport is near the central of the city – about 10 km away. 10KM is a long distance in Luoyang. The road to the airport is very good, and more importantly, no too much traffic.
I remember when I was in primary school, we visited the airport – in my impression, it was quite big, but now, it seems just like a normal building without many people.
The Luoyang government spent much effort and money to keep the airport alive – for a city with just more than 1 million population, it can hardly support the operation of an airport. The Zhengzhou airport is just 1 hour of express way east of the airport, and the tickets are much cheaper than Luoyang… That is the situation 80% of the airports in China have to face.
Spending money on the airport itself may not be enough. And size of the population may not be key. In order to keep any airport alive and thriving, a city needs to develop the local economy. Luoyang first has to expand their existing industries, such as the flower industry I guess, attract/discover new industries, reduce crimes/mishaps, and improve/promote tourism, such as to Long-men or Guan-lin, etc. Then people will fly there and prices will come down.
In my opinion, Luoyang is at an excellent location and can develop into a busy transportation hub if the city has the vision and persistence. The problem is, probably, the central government is not giving them money, the provincial government is not giving them priority. So the city government has to think on thier own and devise innovative ways to grow the economy. That is not easy.
The problem is the tendency to waste money on things like airports for cities that don’t need them. Zhengzhou, due to location and importance, is always going to be the main airport and because it is so close to both Luoyang and Kaifeng, will almost always be the hub for travelers. I understand bigbro’s argument, but I think that there’s a time when you just have to give up such ideas and accept the wounded pride that will go along with it for the sake of the people as the money could be better spent.