The Chinese regime has promoted the suspension of flights to ensure the goal of “Zero COVID.” Unfortunately, this policy has severely disrupted an aviation industry already suffering from the pandemic.
According to Nikkei, in 2021, China suspended 603 flights. As of January 13th, China suspended 198 flights in the new year, nearly a third of last year’s total within two weeks.
The general manager for the flight standards of the Chinese Aviation Administration told reporters on January 15th, “We’re determined to prevent an influx from overseas as well as a domestic rebound.”
In 2022, China Southern Airlines was forced to suspend flights to Toronto, Canada, while China Eastern Airlines canceled flights to Paris.
Chinese carriers accounted for 56 percent of the total international flights planned in the second half of 2021 and by the end of March 3rd, 2022. Therefore, China’s limiting the exploitation of international routes has caused significant damage to the domestic aviation industry.
The number of international passengers of China’s three largest airlines only accounted for 1 percent of their total number, down 17 percent from the time before Covid-19.
International flights fetch higher ticket prices than domestic flights. For example, for China Southern Airlines, in 2019, the international route price was nearly double that of domestic flight tickets.
Because of China’s coronavirus response, international flights faced a sharp decline that greatly impaced on the revenue of Chinese carriers.
All three major airlines reported a net loss of about $1 billion in the first three quarters of 2021.
The Chinese regime’s Covid-19 epidemic prevention approach has been widely criticized. An official at an external airline with branches in Guangzhou said: “There have been more than a few cases where the authorities change directives right before the work begins.”
This month, a cleaning company stopped working at a Chinese airport when an employee tested positive for Covid-19. This affects airlines because they often hire employees from cleaning companies to clean up planes.