Chinese airlines have more market confidence for overseas flights after 20 optimized measures were released to combat COVID-19, and they aim to increase the number of overseas routes.

It is expected that overseas market demand will be slightly increased from the fourth quarter of this year to the beginning of next year, as overseas countries have successively announced the lifting of epidemic prevention and control measures, and China's entry quarantine policy has begun to gradually relax, Air China board secretary Huang Bin said at the briefing on Monday.

China Eastern Airlines is expected to gradually increase international flights following the progress of bilateral negotiations between the civil aviation regulator and other countries' counterparts, Li Yangmin, general manager of China Eastern Airlines, said on Monday.

China Southern Airlines has added some routes from Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong Province to Europe and Southeast Asia for the winter and spring flight season from October 30 and the company said it will increase the number of international routes from Guangzhou to North America in the next step.

It comes after China made its latest move in scientific and precise epidemic control and prevention work to fight the COVID-19 epidemic by releasing 20 optimized measures on November 11, including shortened quarantine periods for international arrivals and cancelation of circuit breakers for inbound flights.

The new steps also include shortened quarantine periods for international arrivals and close contacts of confirmed cases from 7+3 (seven days of centralized quarantine and three days of health observation at home) to 5+3.

China's tourism ministry on Friday also optimized COVID prevention guidelines, in order to boost the travel and culture sector.

The measures appeared to bring a surge in searches for international tickets.

Regarding the next step, Li from China Eastern said that before the epidemic, about two-thirds of the company's flying capacity was deployed domestically, and the company will continue to maintain relatively balanced domestic and regional network construction.

As for ticket prices, China Southern predicted that prices for flights in Southeast Asia are likely to fall, given the coming increase in flying capacity.

Air China previously said that it would operate 52 overseas routes with 132 flights per week from October 30, and it plans to add international routes including Beijing to Johannesburg, Chongqing to Budapest and Chongqing to Ho Chi Minh City. The number includes resumed routes such as Beijing to Singapore and Hangzhou to Rome.

China Southern Airlines said it will have 47 overseas routes covering 203 cities in the new flying season, with resumed routes including Guangzhou to New York, Rome and Jakarta. China Eastern said that it will operate 42 international routes including Shanghai to Toronto, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Auckland and Sydney.

From: Global Times

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