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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business -> 
Airlines get a holiday bonanza
    2020-10-01  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE world’s harried airline bosses will look enviously at China this week as millions of people take to the skies for national holidays, helping Chinese carriers push even further ahead in recovering from the pandemic.

The holiday starts with the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day today and runs to Oct. 8. The so-called Golden Week is typically a time for families to reunite and will add momentum to a domestic rebound that’s lifting air travel within China back toward usual levels. More than 15 million people are due to fly over the period, a 10 percent increase from last year, according to Lan Xiang, head of the research division at online travel agent Qunar.

Airlines elsewhere are mired in crisis as they struggle to rebuild networks and coax virus-wary passengers back onboard. Demand and scheduled capacity in the United States collapsed with the spread of COVID-19, while people in Europe are loath to travel in case they get caught out by fast-changing restrictions. Even with international routes largely off limits, Chinese carriers are better set thanks to their vast home market and success in bringing the virus under control.

China’s airlines haven’t evaded the crisis altogether: the three biggest posted combined losses of almost US$4 billion in the first half and the recovery won’t be enough to put them into the black by year-end. Their worst month was February. But just two months later, they were already sounding confident about overcoming the slump and luring passengers back with deals and unlimited flight offers.

People now feel “very safe” flying within China and demand has picked up strongly, Trip.com Group Ltd. chief executive officer Jane Sun said during an online aviation summit Sept. 24. Even business travel will rebound, she said, dismissing concerns that work trips are a thing of the past now that people have become more accustomed to virtual meetings.

“Domestic travel will be back to normal by the end of this year,” Sun said.

The busiest day in the coming holiday will be Oct. 7, when more than 13,800 domestic flights are scheduled, according to aviation data analytics company Cirium. The figure represents an increase of almost 10 percent from Oct. 6, 2019, the busiest day of last year’s Golden Week, it said. Travel as a whole in China is still expected to be more subdued than last year, with a total of 550 million domestic tourists compared with 782 million a year ago, which included more international flights, domestic media reported.

Shanghai is the most popular destination followed by Beijing, Cirium said, noting that the volume of domestic fights over the holiday “looks set to push well past last year’s record.” Trip.com’s Sun said sought-after destinations include Sanya in Hainan. The large group tours that have long been a common sight in China have given way to a preference for smaller ones, she said. (SD-Agencies)

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