China's air passenger numbers down 45% year-on-year over Lunar New Year
02/19/2021|1:41:30 PM|Reuters

China’s air passenger traffic fell 45.16% year-on-year over Lunar New Year, the aviation regulator said on Thursday, though signs of a quick recovery are emerging due to the country’s success in curbing domestic transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Passenger numbers stood at 3.57 million over the 7-day holiday period, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement on its website, adding that average load factor, a measure of seats filled, stood at 57.51%.

However, signs of a pick-up are emerging.

CAAC data showed the number of international cargo flights during the 7-day period surged 212.48% year-on-year.

Data from the brokerage Jefferies also showed domestic seat capacity, which during the week of February 8 plunged to the lowest level since February last year, is slated to increase 65.5% this week, compared with the previous week.

Though Chinese refrained from travelling over the holiday, they kept spending.

The sales of nine duty-free stores on the holiday resort island of Hainan exceeded 1.5 billion yuan (USD 232.27 million) during the 7-day holiday, doubling that of 2019 new year holiday before the coronavirus outbreak, the local government said on Thursday.

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