China’s aviation market rebounds with daily flights reaching 12,000 thanks to government support

Beijing Airport Photo: VCG

China’s civil aviation market is enjoying a strong recovery with government support, with the total number of flights exceeding 12,000 on the same days in July, more than 60 percent of pre-epidemic levels, officials said Tuesday.

“The civil aviation sector has shown a V-shaped recovery,” Wu Shijie, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), told a press conference.

Flights so far in July have topped 10,000 a day, the official said, noting that on July 8 and again on July 10, the country recorded more than 12,000 flights, recovering to 64.5 % of pre-epidemic levels.

CAAC officials noted that the domestic passenger market has shown green sprouts of recovery in recent months, citing traffic data. The volume in April fell back to 14.8% compared to the same period of 2019, and the recovery rate increased to 46.2% in June.

The recovery momentum was also clear for air freight. In April, freight volume was 69.8% compared to the same period in 2019, and it jumped to 89.7% in June. Outbound cargo activity in June rose 1.8% from the same period last year.

During the week of July 4-10, daily passenger trips reached 1.2 million, with the number of flights reaching 71,000, a monthly increase of 12%, according to data from information provider VariFlight sent at the Global Times.

However, China’s aviation industry endured a difficult first half, with the number of daily flights slipping to a low of 2,967, just 17.8% from the same period in 2019. The number of passenger trips stood at to 118 million, a decrease of 51.9%. percent compared to the same period of last year, and returning to 36.7 percent for the same period of 2019.

Song Zhiyong, head of the CAAC, said at a recent meeting that the national civil aviation industry has racked up losses of nearly 300 billion yuan ($44.63 billion) since the outbreak. COVID-19 in 2020, according to

The asset-liability ratio of airlines reached 82.2%, an increase of 11.9 percentage points from before the pandemic, and the asset-liability ratio of 12 airlines exceeded 100%, it said. -he declares.

To help the hard-hit industry, the government has provided targeted financial support, injecting 3 billion yuan each for Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, 2 billion yuan for Capital Airport Holdings and pre-allocating 3, 29 billion yuan in the center subsidy fund for the first phase of domestic passenger flights.

In terms of credit, in addition to emergency loans of 65.6 billion yuan for airlines and airports, the CAAC issued additional emergency loans worth 150 billion yuan for airlines. .

The regulator said it would continue to step up measures such as improving slot allocation and flight approvals to help airlines out of trouble.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on July 7 that “Omicron’s easing of restrictions in China helped ease supply chain constraints and contributed to improved performance in May.” .

“The return of Asian production with the easing of COVID-19 measures, particularly in China, will support air freight demand. And the strong rebound in passenger traffic has increased storage capacity, but not always in markets where the capacity shortage is most critical. But the uncertainty of the global economic situation will have to be watched closely,” read a statement, quoting Willie Walsh, director general of IATA.

Despite persistent challenges, global confidence in China’s civil aviation market remains strong. Airbus predicted on Monday that China will need an additional 8,420 new planes over the next 20 years to 2041, up from a forecast of 8,220 made last year.

China could be the most active aviation market over the next few years given the strong market growth, the European aircraft manufacturer said in a global market forecast for 2022, highlighting the potential of the Chinese market. .