(Yicai Global) Jan. 18 – As the Spring Festival Travel Rush (chun yun in Chinese), which brings booming demand for China's transportation industry has kicked off, airlines have intensified their online marketing efforts.
During this year's Spring Festival Rush, airlines not only offered online discounts, a rare practice in such high seasons, but also created services like advance check-in and reserving seats via APPs and WeChat. Apart from booking tickets, users can also book hotels, vacation activities and other services like insurance, airport pick-up, car rental, overseas wi-fi, and visa services.
The Spring Festival holiday has also increased demand for international flights, which had been subdued recently. Many international flights originating from China have already been booked despite there is still more than 10 days to go before the start of the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year, the industry sources told Yicai Global. For instance, tickets for Shanghai-Seoul flights have been sold out nearly two weeks in advance, with only several seats left available on routes from Shanghai to Osaka and Nagoya in Japan and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
The proportion of tickets sold directly by China's three major airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, has reached over 40 percent last year, Yicai Global learned. The said airlines aim to increase that rate to 50 percent in 2017.