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Chinese Outbound Flights Severely Lag Pre-Covid Levels


China’s outbound flight bookings were at 15% of pre-pandemic levels in the week post the border announcement on 26 Dec, despite a sharp increase in bookings year on year, travel data from ForwardKeys show.

  • China’s government on 26 Dec announced new border policies from 8 Jan, reopening its borders, and simplifying entry requirements for travellers.
  • Outbound flight bookings in the week post 26 Dec lagged pre pandemic levels by 15% but increased by 192% from the same period last year.
  • Low airline capacity, high airfares, new pre-flight COVID-19 testing requirements by many countries and a backlog of passport and visa applications pose challenges, ForwardKeys Vice President Insights Olivier Ponti said.
  • The international flight market could recover to around 80% of 2019 capacity levels by the end of the year, an official at China's aviation regulator said according to China Daily.

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