China's Aviation Sector Aims For Profitability This Year - Regulator

By Dave Simpson
China's Aviation Sector Aims For Profitability This Year - Regulator

China's aviation sector will aim to turn losses into profits this year with an expected recovery to 85% of its pre-COVID volume of domestic passenger trips, the aviation regulator has said.

Domestic Air Traffic Faltering

China's domestic air traffic, once the world's envy after a fast rebound during the pandemic, is faltering due to a zero-COVID policy of quickly stamping out virus clusters regardless of the economic cost.

Suspension Of Flights

A growing number of imported cases as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads around the world have also led the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to suspends more international flights recently.

Deep Losses

The sector has been mired in deep losses since COVID-19 struck in early 2020, with China's three biggest airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, posting a combined loss of 32.5 billion yuan ($5.10 billion) in the first three quarters of 2021, after a 42 billion yuan loss in 2020.

CAAC Statements

The CAAC, in a work meeting for 2022, said that air passenger trips will likely exceed 570 million this year, compared with approximately 660 million in 2019 before COVID-19.


"Barring repeated fluctuations in COVID-19, we will strive to reverse losses and achieve profitability this year," the CAAC said in a statement.

Banking On Domestic Market And Heavily Curtailing International Flights

China has been banking on the domestic market to drive a recovery in its aviation sector, while heavily curtailing the number of international flights to discourage travel.

Targeting 2023-2025 For Recovery

The CAAC said that it is targeting 2023-2025 for a recovery in international air travel.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.