Coming National Day holidays to see record travel peak
Aviation recovery accelerates
Published: Sep 17, 2020 07:48 PM

Passengers seen at the Beijing Daxing International Airport on June 3 Photo: cnsphoto

China's civil aviation industry is showing a steady recovery trend as the latest data shows that domestic passenger market has maintained a rising trend.  

As the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays are approaching, several online travel platforms showed that the bookings for airlines tickets, hotels and scenic spots have been increasing, and the eight-day travel bonanza is expected to see record high travelers, with the virus controlled in China. 

The number of domestic civil aviation passengers during the National Day holidays this year will increase by about 10 percent year-on-year given the current recovery trend, and the domestic civil aviation will transport a record high of more than 15 million passengers during the National Day holidays, Lan Xiang, head of the Qunar Big Data Research Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

According to Lan, last year, the peak of ticket bookings for National Day holidays came after September 20, but this year, the peak came one week ahead as some popular routes were sold out as soon as they were put on sale, some even at high prices. 

The ticket bookings for domestic passengers stood at 1.51 million on September 10, exceeding the level of the same day last year, he added. 

Travel platform Group said on Thursday that as of mid-September, bookings for major routes during the holidays have increased by over 200 percent from the previous month, and routes from Shanghai to Beijing, Chengdu to Beijing and Shanghai to Chengdu are the most popular ones.  

Qunar data shows that during the National Day, the average price of Guangzhou-Urumqi and Shenzhen-Urumqi fare reached 2,324 yuan ($343.37) and 2,310 yuan, an increase of 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Spring Airlines said that the ticket sales for National Day holidays have exceeded the same period last year, with only a few left, and the carrier will increase its capacity by 49 percent over the same period last year in a bid to meet the travel demand.

Cities are also taking different measures to attract travelers. 

Data from Wuhan cultural and tourism department shows that since Wuhan announced on August 7 that the city will not charge any fees for 23 A-level scenic spots, the overall average daily tourist reception of Wuhan scenic spots increased by 34 percent compared with the same period in 2019. 

Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from September 2 started to reopen outdoor scenic spots to visitors and resumed trans-provincial tours, according to the region's cultural and tourism department.

To boost the recovery of tourism, scenic areas in Altay Prefecture, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, the Mongolian autonomous prefecture of Bayingolin, and other places in Xinjiang are rolling out preferential tourism policies.

The region boasts rich natural resources and marvelous landscape, making tourism one of the fastest-growing industries. In the first 10 months of 2019, Xinjiang received around 200 million tourists, up 42.62 percent year on year, a new record, according to Xinhua News Agency.

In addition, due to the impact of overseas epidemic, outbound travel is restricted, which has fueled the recovery of domestic travel. Official data shows that in 2019, Chinese citizens made 155 million overseas trips.

The civil aviation regulator has also taken measures to boost potential markets and promote recovery of smaller domestic airports.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Tuesday relaxed restrictions on the domestic flight schedules for its three biggest airports, allowing airlines 28 weekly flights through Beijing and 14 weekly flights through Shanghai and Guangzhou airports for the upcoming winter and spring seasons. 

Data from CAAC shows that in August, domestic civil aviation transported nearly 45.54 million passengers, nearly three-fourths of the same period level last year. The domestic civil aviation market has recovered more than 80 percent, exceeding the January figure this year before the virus-induced lockdowns. 

The August figures indicate the highest monthly performance of airlines this year.

Air China said Tuesday it carried 7.317 million passengers, a decrease of 30.2 percent year-on-year but an increase of 25.3 percent month-on-month; China Eastern Airlines also saw a recovery as it transported 8.54 million passengers in August, up from 7.24 million passengers in July. Budget carrier Spring Airlines said it carried 2.06 million passengers, up 11.1 percent month-on-month.