The average passenger boarding an intercontinental flight from Qingdao Liuting International Airport in eastern China probably does not know it, but local taxpayers have contributed about $500 to the fare. Indeed, without that subsidy, there would be no intercontinental flight to board there. And that would suit China’s three biggest airlines rather well. Though they operate some of the subsidized services from secondary cities such as Qingdao, their long-haul markets are suffering ...

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