Chinese aviation market on an upward trend with daily flights hitting 12,000 on back of government support
Published: Jul 12, 2022 03:19 PM
An airplane flies over the Ezhou Huahu Airport in Ezhou, central China's Hubei Province, Dec. 29, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

An airplane flies over the Ezhou Huahu Airport in Ezhou, central China's Hubei Province, Dec. 29, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

The Chinese aviation market is experiencing a strong recovery, with flight numbers in July exceeding 10,000 per day, the Chinese civil aviation regulator said, highlighting that on July 8 and 10 the country witnessed more than 12,000 flights, recovering to 64.5 percent of pre-epidemic levels.

The Chinese aviation sector facilitated 118 million passenger trips across the first half of this year, a decline of 51.9 percent compared with the same period of last year, and retuning to 36.7 percent for the same period of 2019.

The aviation sector has shown a V-shape recovery, Wu Shijie, an official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said during a Tuesday media conference.

The Chinese domestic passenger market has shown green shoots of recovery, officials from the CAAC said on Tuesday, citing traffic data over recent months, of which, the traffic volume in April had recovered to 14.8 percent of the same period of 2019, growing to 46.2 percent in June.  

The recovery momentum is also clear for cargo. In April, the cargo transport volume had been restored to 69.8 percent for the same period in 2019, rising to 89.7 percent in June. The overseas cargo business in June grew by 1.8 percent from the same period last year.

In the week from July 4 to 10,daily passenger trips hit 1.2 million, with a weekly flights standing at 71,000, a month-on-month increase of 12 percent, data from information provider VariFlight sent to the Global Times showed.

The Chinese aviation industry has been through a difficult first half of the year, with the number of daily flights reaching their lowest level at 2,967 in the first six months of 2022, only 17.8 percent of the same period in 2019.

To help the industry, the government has provided targeted financial support, injecting 3 billion yuan ($445 million) for each of Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, 2 billion yuan for Capital Airport Holdings Ltd, and pre-allocating 3.29 billion yuan in central subsidy funds for the first phase of domestic passenger flights.

In terms of financial credit, on the basis of implementing emergency loans worth 65.6 billion yuan for airlines and airports, the CAAC also have issued an additional emergency loans worth 150 billion yuan for airlines.

The regulator said it will continue to step up macro controls, such as improving slot application and flight approvals to help the companies out of trouble. 

Airbus predicts that China may be the busiest aviation market over the next few years given a strong market growth, the Europe plane manufacturer said in a Global Market Forecast for 2022 on Tuesday, highlighting China's market potential.

China will need an additional 8,420 new airplanes over the coming 20 years through to 2041, the company said, compared with a forecast of 8,220 made last year.  

Globally, it forecasts a demand of 39,490 new passenger and freighter aircraft over the coming 20 years.

Airbus said strong demand for air cargo is supported by world trade growth, as international trade is expected to double over the next two decades.

Although there have been some setbacks, passenger traffic is expected to grow at 3.6 percent from 2019 to 2041, the company said, and it expects airlines to order more planes over the next 20 years than previously forecast to replace less fuel-efficient models.

The manufacturer said air traffic demand is coming back strongly as the world adapts to COVID-19, and traffic will recover to 2019 levels between 2023 and 2025. Asia-Pacific, China, Europe and the US continue to be major drivers for growth and replacement, it said.

Global Times