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A China Eastern 777 turns onto the runway in Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Chinese Airports Show Signs of Recovery

Chinese aviation is experiencing a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic even though international travel largely remains closed. As a result of the huge demand in the domestic services, China Eastern Airlines’ grounded aircraft have returned to the skies. Recently, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has announced that the daily passenger capacity of Shenzhen Baoan International Airport on Mar 1 – Mar 21 was over 130,000. On Mar 19, the passenger volume was over 151,400, as the capacity hit its pre-Covid level at the airport.

In response to the huge demand of the business travelers, Baoan, the third busiest airport in the country last year, is going to enhance its services to Shanghai, with 112 total return flights, and Beijing, with 98 total return flights, for the summer schedule, which started on March 28.

Meanwhile, the airport will increase frequencies to Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Sanya, the tourist hotspot in Southern China.

Earlier, CAAC announced that Sanya Phoenix International Airport handled over two million passengers during the Lunar New Year Holidays. Sanya is expected to be a popular destination in Qingming Festival. During the upcoming long weekend in April, Sanya will increase the frequencies to Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu.

The Chinese aviation industry has seen a positive sign as the coronavirus curve has flattened over the last year. Shenzhen has experienced a three-month growth from September to November in 2020. The airport has handled 4.24 million passengers in a single month, which was over pre-covid level.

Since the government not encouraging its citizens to travel during the Lunar New Year Holidays, Chinese citizens started traveling after the holidays. According to CAAC, 24.66 million passengers traveled between Feb. 17 to Mar. 8 across the country. The number of travelers in the first week of March doubled compared to the previous month.

The figure has also shown the average air ticket price in March was $97. The industry is remained optimistic as hotel reservations during Qingming quadrupled.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, the busiest airport in China, will operate 8,937 flights weekly during the summer schedule and will enhanced its domestic services by 13%. Multiple airlines will launch some popular tourist destinations, such as Lijiang and Jingzhou.

According to local media, China Southern Airlines is planning to operate 663 flights at Baiyun daily during the new summer schedule. The Guangzhou-based carrier’s flight movement will be increased by 55% and 45% compared to 2020 and 2019 respectively.

Meanwhile, China Eastern Airlines is going to satisfy increased customer demand by operating more wide-body aircraft. Also, the flights from Shenzhen and Guangzhou to Beijing will switch to Beijing Daxing Airport.

In the same time, China Southern Airlines will bolster its services in Zhuhai Airport by increasing frequencies to Beijing and Wuhan. It also launches new services to Taiyuan and Urumqi, the cities in Northern China. Meanwhile, Hainan Airlines will start a new service to Chongqing.


  • Will has been a travel agent in Hong Kong for almost three decades, as time goes by he hasn't lost his passion for his job, He still has plenty of enthusiasm for the airline industry and airport operations.

Will Lee
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