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OYO China's CFO steps down; Rental platform partners with ByteDance | Weekly Review

07/12/2020| 10:12:03 AM| ChinaTravelNews

CEO of IHG's Greater China region saw more hotels joining chain brands after pandemic; Airbnb China reports more than 20% rise in active listings in June.

OYO China announces CFO's resignation

OYO announced on July 6 that the company's China unit CFO Wilson Li has resigned. Anuj Tejpal, chief business development officer of OYO Rooms and legal representative of OYO China, said in an internal letter that Mr. Li has decided to move on from the company, "to pursue other professional opportunities". Before joining OYO China, Mr. Li served as CFO of car rental giant CAR Inc.

Rental platform partners with ByteDance on corporate service

ByteDance's enterprise communication and collaboration platform Feishu, a rival of Alibaba's DingTalk, has recently teamed up with short-term rental platform Xiaozhu.com in a strategic partnership. The two companies aim at deepening cooperation in corporate travel service by combining alternative rental and business travel.

IHG China: Virus drives more independent hotels to join chains

Although the hotel industry is on the rebound, independent hotels that are primarily reliant on OTAs and walk-in guests still find it hard to boost revenues. Jolyon Bulley, the CEO of IHG's Greater China region, observed that the integration of quality local independent hotels into chain brands has accelerated during Covid-19. While hotel revenues are recovering gradually, the midscale hotels market is saturated in first-tier cities, prompting a move into the markets in lower-tier cities.

Airbnb China reports more than 20% rise in active listings

Internal data from Airbnb China show that the company's USD 10 million special fund has helped 200,000 Airbnb hosts. As of the end of June, Airbnb reported a more than 20% rise year-on-year in the number of active listings in the country that the company has a strategic focus on. 

Korean airlines start flying to Chinese destinations again

Airlines from South Korea are resuming flights to China as Beijing eases regulations on travel restrictions that followed the Covid-19 outbreak. Budget carrier Air Busan said it will resume flying to Shenzhen, a coastal city in the south of China's Guangdong Province, starting July 17. It is the first overseas route to come back since the airline shut down its overseas operations on March 9. Asiana Airlines is resuming flights to Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, starting Sunday.

More than 80% of Chinese travelers plan trips in second half of 2020

The 2H 2020 Travel Sentiment Survey by Ctrip’s Tourism Big Data Lab, which polled several thousand Ctrip.com users hailing from more than 50 cities across China, showed that 82.6% of respondents are keen to travel in the second half this year. Of these, 80% signaled preference for longer-distance domestic travel between provinces.

Similarly, 80.2% of participants in a recent study by the China Tourism Academy intend to travel in the third quarter of 2020, marking a recovery of 90% compared to 2019 figures. More than half of respondents (57.1%) would contemplate going on more domestic trips if outbound travel does not recover in the rest of 2020.

Beijing lifts most travel restrictions, says city’s outbreak contained   

Beijing has contained transmission of the coronavirus outbreak and will lift travel restrictions on most residents at midnight, city authorities said, weeks after a new wave of infections broke out in the Chinese capital. The city’s massive track and trace campaign has “effectively cut off virus transmission channels” with fewer than three cases discovered each day in recent days, spokesman Pan Xuhong said.

Britain agrees "air bridges" for 59 nations but excludes US, China

Britain will exempt travelers from 59 countries and territories including Germany, France, Spain and Italy from its coronavirus quarantine rule for international arrivals, but Sweden, Portugal, the United States, Canada and China were notable omissions from the list.

China temporarily halts a foreign airline's flight due to virus cases

China's civil aviation administration (CAAC), in line with previously-issued guidelines, has temporarily halted operations by US-Bangla Airlines' flight BS325 from Dhaka to Guangzhou for a week starting on July 6, after five passengers on that flight tested positive for the coronavirus on June 28. CAAC had previously temporarily halted operations on two other flights.

China's aviation space loses $4.9 billion in Q2

China's aviation industry has been recovering faster than most countries emerging from the COVID lockdowns. But it still lost RMB 34.25 billion (USD 4.89 billion) in the second quarter, only slightly narrower than in the first quarter. The industry, which includes airlines, airports and other aviation companies, lost RMB 38.1 billion, according to data released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

APAC accounts for over half of global domestic flights in July

Domestic market recovery is leading the aviation sector’s global return, with China showing particular strength, according to airline data platform Cirium. Domestic scheduled flights for July 2020 within the US still lead the world’s domestic aviation markets with 413,538 flights in total, compared to 378,434 flights within China. However, the US trails behind China when it comes to actual capacity on the flights being operated.

Chinese domestic airlines roll out discount packages to boost cash flow

Domestic airlines in China rolled out ticket discount packages under the banner of “fly at will” one after another recently, in the hope of recouping money and boosting consumption affected by COVID-19 outbreak. Following China Eastern's first experiment on weekend unlimited passes, China Express and Hainan Airlines launched similar programs. The country saw 935,200 passengers and 10,570 flights daily in early June, recovering to 57.4% and 66.11% over the same period of last year.

Skyscanner launches Fare Families functionality

Skyscanner has launched a new service allowing airlines to showcase their fare options and extra ancillaries at the beginning of the user journey. The Fare Families functionality - new, mobile optimized technology within the direct booking platform - has been designed to maximize fare revenue. A recent Skyscanner survey shows that accessible pricing (51%) and clear airline policies (49%) were named as the top types of information that travelers would look for once restrictions were lifted.

Cathay Pacific considers drier storage options for unused planes

Cathay Pacific was evaluating whether to send some of its aircraft to less humid locations for storage as it reviews the size of its fleet in light of the fall in demand due to the pandemic. Rivals Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airways and Air New Zealand have already sent some long-haul planes to desert locations in Australia and the United States for long-term storage and possible early retirement in expectation the demand slump will be prolonged.

China's young tourists report changing travel preferences

The Generation Z in China show growing interest in domestic travel and shrinking willingness to travel abroad, according to a report by Chinese travel service and social-networking platform Mafengwo, which surveyed over 2,500 young respondents. While their travel budget has not been much squeezed by the epidemic, over 60% said they planned to spend more on safe and sanitary dining and accommodation due to health concerns, the report said.

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