ForwardKeys has revealed that domestic air travel in China, which has been recovering slowly in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, has now reached more than 50 per cent of what it was at the equivalent moment in 2019.
The figures are based on issued air tickets.
In addition, analysis of flight ticketing data reveals a significant uptick in last minute domestic flight bookings in China between May 11th-21st.
During that period, the lead time between ticketing and travel shortened dramatically; 72 per cent of flight tickets were issued within four days of the travel date, compared with 51 per cent at the equivalent point in 2019.
ForwardKeys believes that this phenomenon is significantly influenced by students returning to university, as the timing coincides with universities reopening – a milestone that is expected to stimulate Chinese consumers to travel more.
Looking back to the start of 2020, air travel surged in the first three weeks of January, thanks to Chinese New Year.
However, the Covid-19 outbreak spoiled the party and by mid-February the aviation market in China had all but collapsed.
In the last week of that month, the recovery began; and passenger traffic jumped 62.9 per cent (all be it form a very low base), coinciding with a weak restart of the economy and an increase in seat capacity…