(Yicai Global) Dec. 6 -- Ticket purchases on flights to and from a number of major Chinese cities have rocketed in recent days as many places begin to ease their Covid-19 requirements for people entering from other provinces. And as a result, prices are on the increase.
Air ticket bookings for flights in and out of Guangzhou, southern Guangdong province nearly tripled on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 from a week earlier, according to online travel platform Qunar. While reservations on planes flying out of Zhengzhou, central Henan province, tripled and those flying in almost quintupled. And those on flights leaving Chongqing in southwest China soared almost 11 times.
Prices have also surged as demand recovers. The average price of an air ticket jumped 30 percent last week from the week before, according to online travel agency Tongcheng E-long. This is 16 percent higher than during the week-long National Day holiday in October, a peak travel period.
Many Chinese cities, such as tourism hubs Haikou and Sanya on the getaway island of Hainan and Hangzhou in southeastern Zhejiang province, no longer require compulsory polymerase chain reaction tests and quarantine for travelers.
This has led to a jump in the number of flights available. Flights out of Chongqing have nearly sextupled over the past five days, while those out of Hohhot in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north of the country almost quintupled and those out of Harbin, northeastern Heilongjiang province more than quadrupled, according to Chinese flight tracker Flight Master.
Flights to and from Shenyang and Dalian in northeastern Liaoning province and Yinchuan in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in the country’s northwest are also on the rise.
But, overall, the number of flights remains low, at just 22.1 percent of total scheduled flights, as there are still many places that continue to strictly implement Covid-19 travel restrictions. For the week Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, the number of flights slumped 18.8 percent from the previous week and 61.5 percent year on year to 22,000, according to Flight Master data. This is also a drop of 77 percent from the same period in 2019.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Kim Taylor