Major Chinese carriers see passengers surge, more international trips
Published: Aug 17, 2022 08:57 PM
Beijing Daxing International Airport Photo: Xinhua

Beijing Daxing International Airport Photo: Xinhua

Major Chinese airports and airlines saw soaring passenger trips in July compared with the previous month, and international trips also saw a fast recovery, which was "a welcome development."

The six listed airlines -- including China Southern Airlines, Air China and China Eastern Airlines -- transported 24.78 million passengers in July, an increase of 92.8 percent from the previous month, according to industry information provider VariFight.

The passenger trips overall recovered to 77 percent in the same period in 2021 and 32 percent in the same period in 2019.

China Southern ranked first with 8.46 million trips, followed by 5.2 million for Air China and 5.08 million for China Eastern.

Flights averaged about 9,931 per day in July, a month-on-month increase of 42.16 percent.

Market watchers said that the figures reflected peak summer travel demand and a surge in international travel.

Shenzhen airport's passenger throughput on international routes in July was 13,600, a year-on-year increase of 164.87 percent and a month-on-month increase of about 46 percent, data from its fiscal report showed. 

Guangzhou Baiyun airport's international passenger throughput in July was 61,400, an increase of 11.78 percent year-on-year and a month-on-month increase of about 10 percent.

"The resumption of international flights to China is a welcome development," Xie Xingquan, regional vice president of North Asia with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The next step is to look at further easing quarantine measures to support the recovery of international passenger traffic to/from China, Xie added. 

Globally, international passenger traffic is on the road to recovery, with most parts of the world already open to international travel. 

In June, international passenger traffic in other regions ranged from 65-85 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. Asia, however, was only at 30 percent of 2019 levels, according to Xie. 

VariFlight said the number of inbound and outbound passengers via international flights in July was about 150,000, an increase of nearly 29 percent from the previous month.

In July, Air China resumed a number of international routes serving Europe and Asia. China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines had 22 international routes per week, and China Southern Airlines had a total of 21 international and regional routes.

Globally, passenger demand is at 70 percent of 2019 levels, while international traffic reached 65 percent of June 2019 levels. Domestic traffic in June was at 81 percent of 2019 levels, according to IATA.