Major Chinese airlines carry 24 million passengers in August, up 50%
Published: Sep 21, 2022 10:17 PM
A Southern Airlines aircraft takes off from Shenzhen Baoan International Airport on February 13. Photo: VCG

A Southern Airlines aircraft takes off from Shenzhen Baoan International Airport . Photo: VCG

Six major Chinese airlines saw a recovery in capacity and passenger volume in August, reviving market confidence in the pandemic-battered industry.  

The six listed carriers, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, recorded 24.37 million passenger trips in August, up 52.7 percent from the same period in 2021, and recovering to 50.2 percent from the same period in 2019, the state broadcaster CCTV reported on Wednesday, citing the carriers' monthly data. 

Compared with the pre-COVID period, Spring Airlines' passenger volume recovered to 80 percent of that in 2019, followed by Juneyao Airlines with 70 percent.

The three industry giants - China Southern Airlines, Air China and China Eastern Airlines - recovered to about 50 percent of the pre-COVID level.

Overseas flights were also promising. The total number of passengers on international routes of the six major airlines in August was about 162,000, up 19.1 percent from July.

Airports have been doing better, too. For example, Shenzhen Baoan International Airport said that its passenger throughput in August was 2.89 million, a year-on-year increase of 30.89 percent.

Market watchers said the rising demand was mainly due to seasonal factors, as August is the second month of the summer holidays, which brings soaring demand for flights.

In August, the available seat kilometers of Air China and China Eastern both increased by around 35 percent year-on-year, followed by 47 percent of China Southern Airlines.

In terms of revenue passenger kilometers, China Southern Airlines had the largest increase of 67.72 percent in August, followed by Air China with 56.4 percent and China Eastern Airlines with 62.14 percent.

However, in the just-concluded Mid-Autumn Festival holidays, affected by the pandemic, there was a decline in flying. Data from flight master showed that from September 10-12, the number of passenger flights was about 14,100, a decrease of 51.4 percent compared with the same period in 2021.

Global Times