Prices of air tickets for the coming Qingming Festival holidays reach the lowest point in past 3 years
Published: Mar 31, 2022 10:35 PM
Photo: Courtesy of China Eastern Airlines

File Photo: Courtesy of China Eastern Airlines

Prices of air tickets for the coming Qingming Festival holidays show a declining trend reaching the lowest point in the past three years, casting shadow over airlines' profits. 

As of Wednesday, the average price for economy class tickets from April 1 to 6 was 546 yuan ($86), down nearly 20 percent from last year, reaching the lowest price point in the past three years, according to data from travel platform Qunar.

Earlier on Wednesday, a plane ticket for April 1 from Chengdu to Sanya was 132 yuan ($20.79), from Chengdu to Nanjing, 154 yuan ($24.25), and from Guangzhou to Hefei, 115 yuan ($18.11). 

Some low-cost air tickets are still less than half the price of train tickets, even after adding the fuel surcharge.

Market watchers said the declining trend is related to the crash of China Eastern Airlines' flight that happened on March 21, in addition the impact of the epidemic.

Shanghai has sealed off residential communities and suspended public transportation for mass nucleic testing on its eastern half beginning on Monday, after the city registered 45 confirmed cases and 2,631 asymptomatic infections, the highest daily number of new cases in the national COVID-19 tally reported on Sunday. 

Since March 1, China has recorded more than 70,000 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, mostly caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant and its sub-variant, with 28 provincial-level regions affected.

The city of Shenzhen, known as China's "Silicon Valley" in South China's Guangdong Province, the financial hub of Shanghai in eastern China, and the northeastern province of Jilin are the newest hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak.

China's three biggest airlines reported on Wednesday wider losses in Q4 of 2021, marking the second year in the red due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Reuters. 

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said its net loss rose to 4.05 billion yuan ($638 million) from 2.95 billion yuan ($465 million) in the third quarter, taking its full-year loss to 12.2 billion yuan ($1.9 billion). That is deeper than an 11.8-billion-yuan loss in 2020.

Chinese airlines will increase the fuel surcharge from April 5 and adult passengers will be charged additional 50 yuan ($7.87) per person for flights shorter than 800 kilometers, and 100 yuan ($15.75) for flights of more than 800 kilometers.