Chinese domestic air travel weaker

Monitor Desk Report Date: 30 October, 2021 | 333 Views

Tourism in China continues to recover. The Golden Week holiday in early October was expected to be another boosting factor in the country’s comeback to the pre-crisis level. However, domestic air travel numbers are weaker than expected. China expected something more, but its hopes were dashed by rising Covid-19 cases countrywide.

While the numbers for the year are very impressive, Chinese authorities clearly expected something more, but their hopes were hampered by, albeit very rare, Covid-19 cases across the country.

During the Golden Week, China registered an impressive 515 million domestic trips, as per official data. An average of 12,952 domestic flights operated during the first week of the month. This, however, represents 11.27 % less than in 2020.

Moreover, the flight occupancy rates during the holiday reached 73.7 %. This accounts to 4.8pc less than during the previous Golden Week.

This gradual growth is also seen when comparing figures from August and September, as domestic air travel grew by 43 % during the latter month, according to data from VariFlight.

Travel Demand Higher

While there is a lot of focus on the present moment and the short-term future, the long-term outlook needs to be addressed as well.

According to China’s domestic aircraft manufacturer COMAC, the number of passengers in China is expected to grow by 5.7pc throughout the next 20 years, while the number of aircrafts will grow at a 5.2pc rate.

Thus, the country is ready to rely heavily on COMAC’s newly introduced C919 narrow-body jet, which is set to be launched for commercial flights in the near future.

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