Chinese airlines report sound recovery in May
Global Times

Airport workers unload cargo from a flight from Milan at Haikou Meilan International Airport in Haikou, capital of South China's Hainan Province on Monday. (Photo: VCG)

Chinese airlines' passenger turnover is still making a sound recovery as major domestic carriers reported positive year-on-year growth in May, although there was a slight decline from the previous month. The figures show that domestic passenger travel continues to heat up.

Air China said late on Tuesday that its passenger turnover in May increased by 113.1 percent year-on-year, although the month-on-month number showed a slight decline.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said its passenger turnover in May increased by 126.2 percent from the same period last year, while Juneyao Airlines said its passenger turnover was up 126 percent year-on-year.

Passenger flows showed a fast rebound after this year's Spring Festival, and the domestic civil aviation market is picking up significantly.

The three-day Dragon Boat Festival holidays, celebrated from Saturday to Monday, also showed encouraging results. The Ministry of Transport said that China's commercial carriers recorded 3.71 million passenger trips, an average daily increase of 40.1 percent over the same period last year.

The top aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), said on Friday that the scale of passenger travel remained the same as last month, but it was equivalent to 93.6 percent of the same period in 2019.

Affected by resurgences of the COVID-19 in some places in China, the recovery momentum of civil aviation dropped slightly from the previous month, "but it was still at a relatively high level of recovery," said Zhu Tao, an official of the CAAC.

A report released by Guotai Junan Securities on Tuesday said domestic passenger flows had recovered rapidly since March, and it predicted that the industry would reduce its losses significantly in the second quarter, given the fact that airline operations have improved significantly from April to May.

Compared with passenger flights, cargo transport also remained robust in recent months, as more carriers embraced the cargo business.

Air China data showed that cargo transport in May was up nearly 30 percent from the same period last year, a trend shared by other carriers. China Eastern Airlines reported its cargo transport was up 61 percent year-on-year.

Market watchers said that the development of e-commerce and the express delivery industry in recent years has played a significant role in driving the growth of air cargo in both China and around the world.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic last year, air cargo has played a huge role in combating the virus, ensuring the efficient transportation of medical materials, equipment and vaccines around the world.

Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport said that its global cargo network has expanded to 28 destinations. Following the new opening of the Sabah and Manila international cargo routes, the airport also launched several international cargo routes in the past half month, such as opening services from Shenzhen to Cologne, Manila, Bangkok and Paris.

Data from the International Air Transport Association released April 2021 showed that demand continued to outperform pre-COVID-19 levels, up 12 percent.