Overseas flight searches on the rise in China

China is to continue to relax Covid controls by canceling quarantine for international arrivals and scrapping flight bans. 

Following the news, searches for outbound international flights surged. But how many of these searches will actually become journeys? 

In 2019, Chinese airlines operated 953 international routes. More than 2,700 aircraft took off for overseas destinations every day. By 2021, only 230 routes and about 100 outbound flights remained.

ZOU Jianjun, of the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China, told Jiemian News that scrapping restrictions was a good sign, but the industry was hit hard in the past three years, and needs time to recover. 

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has told airlines to recover in stages. Before March 25, the guideline suggested, no more than 2,000 international flights should operate to ensure pilots, flight attendants, and ground service teams have time to refresh their training.

Zho expects many people to travel abroad during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday in the last week of January, but prices for international flight tickets are still high.