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Chinese airlines may see a U-shaped recovery in air travel

Chinese carriers are likely to see a full recovery by 2021, as aircraft seats are filled by the gradual return of leisure and business air travel, helping the nation’s airlines beat a worldwide aviation slump that may remain until 2023 at the earliest.


Business travel has quickly rebounded in mainland China, as the infection rate of the coronavirus has stabilized, with little increase in the number of confirmed cases and death toll. Daily flights in China recovered to 43.1 per cent of capacity last month, 6.5 percentage points higher than March when large swathes of China remained under lockdown, according to data by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).


In contrast, 2021 global passenger traffic would be between 32 per cent and 41 per cent lower than the pre-pandemic levels, according to a forecast by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).


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