Chinese regulator vows to build passenger traffic back to 90% of pre-pandemic levels
03/16/2021|4:15:30 PM|Global Times

Chinese civil aviation regulator vows to build passenger traffic back to around 90% of pre-pandemic levels, while aiming to reduce losses and increase profits for aviation companies.

Wu Shijie, an official from Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said during an online media briefing that the passenger traffic in February was 23.95 million trips, a growth of 187.1% than the same period last year.

He noted that traffic is equivalent to 44.5% of the same period in 2019, and "the degree of recovery is still not high." 

Wu's remarks came as the turning point as Chinese airlines are now witnessing green shoots of recovering resulting from China's COVID-19 prevention measures are slowly released, bringing hopes for airlines' recovery efforts. 

All three major carriers report a rising passenger turnover. China Southern said on Monday that its passenger turnover in February was up 127% year-on-year, followed by 83% of China Eastern and 44.9% of Air China.

The Beijing local government on March 12 said that it would no longer needs travelers from domestic low-risk areas with negative nucleic acid test results within seven days upon arrival, which triggered another round of travel fever.

Travel platform data shows that the current domestic air ticket bookings during the Qingming Festival which falls on April 4, are close to the level of the same period in 2019. 

At present, China Eastern's average daily passenger flight volume has recovered to about 2,400 flights. It is expected that there will be a surge in travel during the upcoming Chinese traditional festivals such as Qingming Festival and the May Day holidays.

Read original article