Atlantic City

Published on Monday, February 3, 2020

China's flight capacity cut by 4.4 million seats

International airline capacity to and from China has been cut by nearly 600,000 seats since the coronavirus outbreak, according to data from OAG.

Capacity on Chinese domestic flights has been slashed by an even more dramatic figure of 3.8 million seats.

To put that into context, the drop equates to more than the whole of the Indian market (4.2 million seats) stopping all services.

OAG said this is 'probably the most dramatic change in schedules from one country in such a short period of time ever'.

In percentage terms, Singapore (-38%) and Thailand (-34%) have seen the largest reductions in capacity.

"This week's reductions in capacity are probably the most significant ever seen in one week in response to any pandemic event; SARS was dramatic but more regional whilst Ebola was across a range of smaller markets," said OAG.

"The likelihood is that we will see further changes in the next week in response to both the virus but also demand which has naturally been impacted with consumer confidence badly damaged."

Sporting events, conferences and tour groups in China have been cancelled in the coming weeks, having a massive impact on tourism businesses in China and elsewhere.

The Hong Kong SAR Government will close all border crossings with mainland China from 12.01am local time tomorrow (February 4), with the exception of the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

All ferry crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China, and Hong Kong and Macao will also cease.

There have been more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the virus in China and 361 fatalities.

Outside of China there have been 150 confirmed cases, including one death in the Philippines. Two cases have been confirmed in the UK.


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