From May 3, many Chinese airports will officially enter their summer season, re-introducing hundreds of routes around the country. To keep travelers safe, the government has implemented social distancing measures including limiting cabin capacity. In the meantime, Spring Airlines, a low-cost carrier, is allowing passengers at Shanghai, Pudong, and Shijiazhuang airports to pay an extra RMB 100 (USD 14) to block off an empty seat next to them.
Now, with China in the early stages of re-opening, the global travel industry is taking notes. For global airlines still holding out hope for a V-shaped recovery, China’s domestic air travel may offer a rare glimmer of positivity.
In the past two months, domestic air travel within China has doubled: As of April 22, according to data from travel and analytics company Cirium, domestic capacity was down only 33% year-on-year, compared to a peak drop of 71% on Feb. 24. China has slowly returned to work since the end of March, after nearly two months of curfews and lockdowns, starting in early February.
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