(Yicai Global) April 14 -- Passenger volumes on the international air routes operated by China’s three biggest airlines soared last month from a year earlier. Further gains are expected this quarter, the China Air Transport Association predicted.
State-owned carriers Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines notched up increases in international passenger volumes of 10 times, 6.7 times, and 4.5 times, respectively, in March, according to operations data released late yesterday. Air China's international passenger transport capacity rose 4.5-fold, that of China Eastern five-fold, and of China Southern three-fold.
Chinese airlines have been steadily reopening routes to major domestic markets and slowly resuming overseas flights, mainly to Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea, said Pan Yi, the CATA’s executive vice president. But the recovery in Western routes lags because of limited traffic rights, schedules, and airport support capabilities, among other factors, Pan added.
The big three carriers' total passenger transport capacity rose 14.8 percent to 62 billion passenger-kilometers in March, while passenger transport volume jumped 10.4 percent to 44.3 billion pkm. But load factor fell from February, remaining at around 70 percent, as capacity outstripped volume.
China's civil aviation sector bounced back rapidly last quarter, CATA data showed yesterday. The number of passenger flights in operation, passenger transport volume, and cargo transport volume recovered to 82.3 percent, 80 percent, and 89 percent, respectively, from the pre-pandemic level in the three months ended March 31.
Editor: Martin Kadiev