Statistics from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Wednesday showed that China’s civil aviation industry had maintained a consecutive 120 months of safe flight operations as of August.
State news agency Xinhua reported the CAAC statistics as showing that as of the end of August, the country’s civil air transport sector had achieved a total of 85.8 million flight hours of safe operation.
In August, China’s civil aviation industry handled a total of 8,62,000 flight hours of air transport. The figure represented a 20.3 percent decrease compared from that of last year, but a 10.9 percent increase than the volume in July.
According to the CAAC, the civil aviation industry achieved its stellar safety performance thanks to the persistent efforts of both authorities and carriers in the supervision, control and operation of safety measures.
Bloomberg in another news report said that it’s not all hunky-dory either. China’s three biggest airlines it said posted combined $4 bn in losses in H1, and recovery won’t be enough to put them in the black by year-end.
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 on Thursday and runs to October 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 per cent increase from last year,” said 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 US 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.