Airlines in China carried 21.6 million passengers during the Spring Festival travel season, up 8 percent from last year, said the General Administration of Civil Aviation on Tuesday.
The number is about one-ninth of the passengers that Chinese railways transported during the Spring Festival travel season, or Chunyun.
Airlines flew some 160,000 flights during Chunyun, an annual increase of 2 percent, said the administration. With China's booming economy, more people can afford to travel by air.
Spring Festival is a time for family reunions, particularly for tens of millions of migrant workers and students at schools away from home.
Lunar New Year, an annual test of China's transportation system, lasted 45 days this year.