Airlines welcome easing in COVID-19 prevention rules
Published: Jun 29, 2022 12:20 AM
An aircraft of Spring Airlines in Shanghai airport Photo: VCG

An aircraft of Spring Airlines in Shanghai airport Photo: VCG

Airlines from home and abroad have welcomed the updated COVID-19 prevention playbook released on Tuesday, which shortened the quarantine time, and they are looking forward to more Chinese passengers booking overseas journeys.

A gradual relaxation of the epidemic prevention policy can boost tourism as well as economic, trade and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world, Adam Li, vice president of Emirates Airline China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

We all look forward to a comprehensive victory in the fight against the epidemic, so that people can gradually get back to normal lives, and more people can arrange travel as they like, he added. 

Chan Cheong Eu, Qatar Airways Senior Manager for Sales, North Asia, told the Global Times that they are encouraged by the recent announcement about the relaxation of border controls, as China begins to ease some of the domestic and international travel restrictions. 

He said the carrier has already resumed the passenger service from Guangzhou and Hangzhou to Doha, reestablishing the connection between the Chinese mainland and the State of Qatar and providing more travel options to customers and trade partners. 

“I look forward to further increasing our destinations and frequencies in China as local condition permits,” he added.

The comment came after China tweaked its COVID-19 prevention playbook to shorten the quarantine time for close contacts and international arrivals from 14 days to seven days. The move has boosted confidence in the market, and China is negotiating with more countries to lift travel restrictions put in place over the past two years.

The updated policy is conducive to the restoration of two-way exchanges between Chinese and foreign people, and it also makes it easier for overseas students and staff to return to China, Zhang Wu'an, spokesperson for Shanghai-based Spring Airlines, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

He predicted that the resumption of international routes for the carrier may come at the beginning of next year, adding that the preparations for international routes take longer than for domestic flights.

Data from showed that one hour after the updated playbook was released, the instant search volume for international air tickets doubled, reaching the highest peak of international air ticket searches on the platform in the past two years.

The platform said that one-hour international air ticket bookings increased by nearly 60 percent from the same period last week.

Lan Xiang, president of the big data research institute under said that the halving of the quarantine time for returning to China lays the foundation for an increase in the number of returning flights in the future.

The platform said that bookings for international inbound and outbound air tickets for July and August have increased a lot compared with April this year.

A total of 748 inbound passenger flights landed in China from June 1 to 27, with an average of about 28 flights per day, according to data sent to the Global Times on Tuesday by industry information provider VariFlight. The average daily flight volume increased by 17 percent month-on-month, and the top three airports were in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, said it will resume direct passenger flights between Abu Dhabi and Beijing from Wednesday.

Global Times