Air transport continues recovery as volume exceeds pre-epidemic level for two months
Published: Sep 15, 2023 08:56 PM
Photo: Courtesy of China Eastern Airlines

Photo: Courtesy of China Eastern Airlines

China's civil aviation market has continued its recovery trend, with the overall volume of air transport surpassing the pre-epidemic level for two consecutive months, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), citing August data released on Friday.

The data came after a robust performance of the summer travel rush, and it is also echoed with the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday, highlighting a rapid increase in service consumption, with the airline transport sector maintaining a sound growth.

In detail, the industry has transported a record high of 63.964 million passenger trips in August, an increase of 98 percent compared to the same period of last year, or a 4.5 percent rise compared to 2019.

China Eastern Airlines said that the airlines transported 21.71 million domestic passenger trips from July 1 to the end of August, making a 7.83 percent increase compared to 2019, followed by an increase of 13 percent by the China Southern Airlines.

Regarding the coming National Day holidays, Jin Junhao, an official from the CAAC said that it is expected to have 21 million passengers to travel via airlines for the eight-day holidays, and the daily passenger trips could be around 1.96 million, up 17 percent compared with 2019.

"We will encourage airlines to enhance their flight frequencies and consider using larger aircraft to meet the increased demand," Jin said.

However, international air travel is not experiencing the same rapid recovery as domestic flights.

The number of weekly international passenger flights has recovered to 52 percent of 2019, and the number of countries covering has recovered to nearly 90 percent of pre-epidemic level, CAAC said.

The regulator said that the number of the flights to 14 countries including the UK, Italy, and the Maldives has exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

CAAC is supporting airlines from home and abroad to increase their transport input and resume international flights, Jin said.

Market insiders predict that the outbound travel could see a fast increase for the coming holidays.

Bookings for outbound travel during the upcoming National Day holidays have surged significantly, with domestic travel agencies and platforms like Fliggy reporting an over 20-fold year-on-year increase. This indicates the possibility of a peak in tourism for the year.

Global Times