China's civil aviation sees sharp rise in passenger traffic

(Global Times) 11:24, February 22, 2024

Civil aviation in China saw a red-hot start to the year in January, with passenger traffic rising 44.6 percent year-on-year. Passenger traffic on international routes also increased significantly, official statistics showed.

A total of 54.26 million passenger trips were made by civil aviation in January, or 1.75 million per day, equivalent to 107.9 percent of the pre-pandemic level in 2019, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Wednesday.

During the first six days of the Spring Festival travel rush, a 40-day travel peak from January 26 to March 5, the passenger trips totaled 11.59 million, an average of 1.93 million passenger trips per day, according to the CAAC.

The passenger transport volume, passenger load factor and other key indicators have improved in January for six major airlines, including Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.

At the same time, the volume of passenger transport on international routes has also increased significantly. In January, the six major airlines carried 4.106 million passengers on international routes, equivalent to 73 percent of the same period in 2019.

The increase of passenger trips on international routes has been helped by the continuous optimization of exit and entry management policies.

So far, China has signed mutual visa exemption agreements with 157 countries that cover different types of passports, and has reached agreements or arrangements to simplify visa procedures with 44 countries. China has complete mutual visa exemption with 23 countries, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on February 7 during a regular press conference.

Recent efforts by China to facilitate cross-border travel have made it safer and easier for Chinese people to travel abroad, and for foreigners to come to China, the spokesperson said.

The eased visa policies have boosted outbound travel by Chinese tourists, especially during the eight-day Spring Festival holidays (February 10-17), as some visa-free policies took effect in late January.

According to a report released by online travel platform Qunar, Chinese tourists visited 115 countries and regions, covering 1,754 cities around the world during the Spring Festival break.

International flight orders on Qunar increased by 14 times on a yearly basis. Flight ticket orders to Singapore were up by 29 times; there were up 20 times to Kuala Lumpur and up 16 times to Bangkok.

The top 10 destinations for outbound travel were Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, the US, Indonesia, Vietnam and UAE.

During the Spring Festival holidays, there was an average of 17,117 flights per day, an increase of 33.2 percent over 2023.

The Ministry of Transport estimated that there were 18.04 million passenger trips via civil aviation during the Spring Festival travel rush.

Global Times

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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