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China’s recovery continues as daily passengers top 1 million
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China’s recovery continues as daily passengers top 1 million

The number of daily passengers carried by airlines in China topped the 1 million mark on June 5—the first time in four months the figure has been achieved.

According to figures released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the total number of passengers flying during the day was 1.04 million. This is the highest total since Jan. 28 when COVID-19 travel restrictions began to be introduced.

The CAAC said there were 11,333 flights on June 5, the most since February, and added that passenger traffic has now recovered to 61.5% of 2019 levels.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak—which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan—the average daily number of flights totaled 17,300 and the maximum daily passenger traffic was nearly 2 million.

However, the market dropped to its lowest point on Feb. 13 when the number of passengers fell to 132,900 and the number of flights operated decreased to 3,931. This equates to reductions of 92.5% and 77% respectively, when compared to the daily average.

Since February, the recovery in China’s market has been steady. After an initial upsurge in capacity during early March, the number of departure seats plateaued for the next seven weeks before growth resumed in late April. The daily passenger average in March stood at 458,300, rising to 522,700 in April and 785,800 in May.

Analysis of data published by OAG Schedules Analyser shows there will be about 12.4 million departure seats in China this week (w/c June 8), the highest total in four months. Almost 99% of capacity will be on domestic routes.

This week’s capacity of 12.4 million seats is just 3.5 million fewer than the same week a year ago, meaning that capacity is at 78% of 2019 levels. While 88% of the domestic market has returned, weekly capacity on international routes from China is just 6.4% of this time a year ago.

However, the CAAC has begun to relax border control restrictions, which should pave the way for more international routes to return…

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