Air travel in China has returned to January 2019 levels ahead of the important Lunar New Year holidays, according to aviation data provider Cirium.
Airlines in China are scheduled to operate 99.8% of January 2019’s flights this month, Cirium said, although the recovery has been largely driven by domestic travel. Domestic seating is 9.5% higher than 2019 levels, Cirium said.
China’s surprise decision to drop border curbs earlier this month has given the industry a boost following earlier projections for a reopening much later in 2023. The 40-day New Year period that began on Jan. 7 represents the largest annual migration on earth.
Even as domestic travel takes off, international travel remains greatly diminished, with departures from China almost 90% lower compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to Cirium.
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