Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

China air travel sees biggest decline since beginning of pandemic

China airline seat capacity has seen its largest decline since the early days of the pandemic.

It is caused by the fast-spreading Delta variant fuelling travel restrictions in several Chinese cities.

According to OAG, seat capacity dipped 32% within one week at the end of July, as global seat capacity fell 6.5%.

At one point earlier in the pandemic China rose to be the largest aviation market in the world but domestic tourism is now on the decline amid the most widespread outbreak of Covid cases since early 2020.

"The data is beginning to point to a recovery being further away than we had perhaps hoped a few weeks back," said John Grant, chief analyst at OAG.

"In the next few weeks, airlines will begin to look long and hard at their winter 2021/22 programs, and many of the data points would suggest that capacity will not be much better than last winter."

The latest resurgence began in the city of Nanjing and has spread to multiple provinces spurring containment measures to limit mobility.

Authorities believe that if restrictions hold firm, they can bring the outbreaks under control within a few weeks.

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