China operated more flights and carried more passengers in July compared with June, although volumes were still well down from a year earlier as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to affect travel and jet fuel demand.
China's flights carried 36.99 million passengers in July, 20.35% higher than the 30.739 million in June. But this was still 37.6% less than the 59.301 million passengers carried in July 2019, according to data from China's civil aviation administration released yesterday.
The country operated around 370,000 flights in July, 13.8% higher than in June but still 30.37% less than a year earlier. An average of 11,941 flights operated daily in July, 10.36% higher than in June but 30.34% less than in July 2019.
While China managed to bring a second flare-up of coronavirus cases in Beijing in June mostly under control, cases still re-emerged in the northwest region of Xinjiang and port city of Dalian in July, prompting flight cancellations and fresh lockdowns. This, and continued curbs on China's international flights, kept air traffic lower than year-earlier levels.
Market participants also estimated China's jet fuel exports in July to have remained low around 76,000-127,000 b/d as refiners keep jet fuel yields low amid limited demand. This is significantly lower than the 351,000 b/d it exported in July 2019, according to customs data, although market participants said that customs data export volumes also include jet fuel pumped into aircraft for international flights departing China. Exports in August are also forecast to be low at 51,000-76,000 b/d.
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