China aviation regulator mulls measures to improve industry facing big transport challenges
Published: Nov 10, 2021 06:03 PM

Photo:Hainan Airlines

Photo:Hainan Airlines

Civil aviation transport saw a slight improvement in October, but the regulator has reiterated that transport remains a big challenge, and that further measures are needed to improve the state of the industry. 

Data from Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) revealed that passenger traffic in October was equivalent to 68.2 percent of the same period in 2019.

As of the end of October, the total transportation turnover, passenger transportation, and cargo transport respectively hit 69.9 percent, 66.4 percent and 80.5 percent of annual targets, according to CAAC data. 

"The transportation situation is still not optimistic," Zhang Qing, an official from CAAC said on Wednesday. 

Although the normal rate of flights has remained at a high level, due to the impact of COVID-19 both at home and abroad, transport volumes have fluctuated significantly, he added. 

To improve industry-wide performance, the CAAC said it will make adjustment to routes, flight schedules, and also continue to increase government support to help aviation companies endure the volatile conditions.

The CAAC said on Wednesday that 190 airports across the country will receive a total of 2.117 billion yuan ($331 million) in subsidies in 2022, with the main targets for relief being small and medium-sized civil airports with an annual throughput of under 2 million passengers.

"We will further increase support for small and medium-sized airports in the central and western regions, especially those in deep poverty, frontier borders, ethnic minorities, and remote and developing areas," Zhang said. 

Several airlines, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines, all recorded losses in the third quarter of 2021, with Spring Airlines the only profitable operator, financial reports showed. 

Air China said in its financial report of the third quarter of 2021 that its net profit loss was about 3.536 billion yuan, an increase of 427.17 percent year-on-year, followed by a loss of 2.954 billion yuan by China Eastern Airlines, with China Southern Airlines losing 1.43 billion yuan.