China’s aviation industry takes $5-BILLION hit from coronavirus pandemic

China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) revealed on Friday that the nation’s air travel industry has lost 34.25 billion yuan ($4.89 billion) in the second quarter of the year, slightly less than the $5.43-billion loss in Q1.

China’s aviation industry, which includes airlines, airports and other aviation companies, has been recovering faster than most countries emerging from coronavirus lockdowns. However, passenger numbers showed the sector is still way below pre-covid levels. 

CAAC data showed that June passenger numbers dropped 42.4 percent from a year earlier to 30.74 million, after plunging 52.6 percent in May. In the first half of 2020, total passenger numbers nosedived 45.8 percent from a year ago. 

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Some Chinese airlines have recently rolled out discount passes that would allow passengers unlimited domestic travel with few restrictions. In June, China Eastern Airlines started selling “fly at will” flight passes for unlimited weekend domestic travel until the end of the year. Hainan Airlines this month offered consumers flight passes that would enable them to make unlimited trips to or from Hainan island, the country’s popular tropical tourist spot.

Air travel has been one of the hardest-hit industries worldwide, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warning that the Covid-19 outbreak will result in up to $314 billion in lost revenue for carriers.

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