Domestic air traffic volume during upcoming holidays expected to be below 2020 levels: analysts
Published: Sep 01, 2021 06:53 PM
A flight of China Southern Airlines Photo: Courtesy of China Southern Airlines

A flight of China Southern Airlines Photo: Courtesy of China Southern Airlines

China's domestic air traffic volume is expected to continue its rebound during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays, but is expected to fall short of last year's levels as some anti-epidemic measures limiting inter-provincial mobility are still in place and sporadic coronavirus outbreaks continue to drag down confidence amongst the travelling public, according to industry analysts. 

The three-day Mid-Autumn Festival will fall on September 21, and the seven-day National Day holiday, also known as the "golden week," falls on October 1 this year.

"The anti-epidemic situation during the upcoming holidays is more severe than last year's, as the Covid-19 pandemic in China is largely under control that time, allowing travelers to release their pent-up demand," an industry observer, who preferred not to be identified, told the Global Times on Wednesday

During the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays last year, which was from October 1 to October 8, tourist attractions across China received a total of 637 million visits, 79 percent of the visits made during the same holidays in 2019 on a comparable basis, according to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Air travel is also expected to be below that of this year's Labor Day holiday in May, when domestic tourism has returned to pre-virus level, analysts said. 

The country is unlikely to relax all restrictions on cross-province travel in the coming months, as schools returned on Wednesday and the government's priority remains in controlling the fast-moving Delta variant, the observer noted.  

During the five-day Labor Day holiday, China's domestic trips topped 230 million, a year-on-year gain of 119.7 percent. The number also represented 103.2 percent of the trips made during the same period in 2019. 

Airline carriers are expected to ratchet up promotion campaigns and offer lower ticket prices to attract tourists to travel during the break, according to industry observers. They noted that the "golden week" is a critical period for airlines to recoup losses and boost profits.  

Global Times