Airfares stay low as China’s first-time air passenger volume grows
While first-time flyers comprised 40% of domestic traveler and 60%on international flights in 2014.
ChinaTravelNews – About 36 million of the 90 million passengers who flew domestically in China in 2014 were first-time flyers, equivalent to about 40% of all domestic air passengers.
The change in passenger demographics is speculated to be linked to the lowering of air ticket prices. China’s state-owned GDS provider TravelSky’s data show that that the air ticket price index of domestic flights dropped 10% to 91 points in 2014 from 100 point in 2011, while international flights ticket price index dropped even more, to 87 points.
Flight prices were lowered as the ratio of price-conscious leisure travelers was on the rise， forcing airlines to lower prices to vie for customers and expand in the highly competitive market.
As ticket prices fall, more leisure travelers choose to fly to longer-haul destinations. The 50% rise in passenger volume index to international destinations including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan over the last three years is the most obvious example.
The number of occasional travelers is also rising, indicated by the decline in repeat purchase rate index that has been trending down from 3.49 points to 3.34 points in 2011 to 2014. Two-third of total passengers in 2014 only took 1-2 air trips a year.
While first-time flyers comprised 40% of domestic travelers in 2014, the proportion of first-time flyers on international flights was even higher, at the 60% level that has been maintained since 2013.
As the trend for high passenger volume for first-time air passengers and holidaymakers is likely to remain unchanged, airfares are expected to remain low or even fall lower in the future.(Translation by David)