China’s CAAC to support airlines after double-digit decline in August
Published: Sep 14, 2021 07:58 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

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will offer various supports for domestic airlines to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including lifting restrictions on cargo flights, following a double-digit decline in passenger and cargo volume in August, an official said on Tuesday.

During a press briefing, Wang Haibo, an official at the CAAC, said that the CAAC has optimized cargo flight policy to allow airlines to apply for more flights and lift restrictions on the number of cargo flights for airlines. 

The CAAC will also continue to support airlines to orderly carry out the exchange of flight schedules with more flexible policies and support domestic airlines to take advantage of flight schedules, which foreign airlines have no plan to operate, so as to fully utilize the resources, Wang added.

In July and August, China's civil aviation market saw significant declines due to the flare-up of coronavirus infections, with passenger traffic down 42 percent compared to 2019. However, officials expressed hope that the situation might improve during the upcoming holidays.

Shang Kejia, another official from the CAAC, said on Tuesday that the travel demand suppressed in the summer will be released during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays. 

Passenger traffic will show a significant increase compared to the summer, according to bookings from the online travel agencies.

At present, Chinese and foreign airlines operate about 200 round international passenger flights a week, accounting for just 2.2 percent of the total number of flights before the pandemic. International flights are not expected to increase soon. Shang also advised against overseas travel during the upcoming holidays.