According to a recent poll by Cirium; the aviation analytics business, Chinese passengers are leading the airline travel recovery with 96% planning to travel. “81% of respondents said they expect to fly at least once in the next 12 months, with 50% planning to fly before the end of the year. Only 24% of those planned to travel said it was for work, while 73% said it was for leisure”.
The pent-up demand is mirrored in China’s passenger traffic, which is showing indications of a strong revival. China traffic reached 87% of 2019 levels as of September 2021, far ahead of the rest of Asia (42%).
According to the report, 66% of Chinese tourists have taken a domestic flight since the epidemic began. According to Cirium plans, domestic travel in Q4 is expected to outperform pre-pandemic levels, increasing by 15% compared to Q4 2019.
Following months of limitations associated with China’s Zero Covid policy, there is a tangible desire for a significant return to foreign and regional travel.
More than half 61% of respondents said they are willing to go outside of mainland China if borders are opened, with Southeast Asia being their preferred destination, followed by Europe, Australia/ New Zealand, and East Asia.
“The Cirium poll emphasises the Chinese traveller trust in flying locally and pent-up demand when it comes to travelling overseas”, said Jeremy Bowen, CEO of Cirium.
“The findings also highlight the necessity of health and safety measures, which will need to be put in place to improve trust in foreign travel from China.”
While Chinese tourists are confident in flying again, 35% of those polled said they would be less inclined to travel by air after the epidemic. They were mostly concerned with health, hygiene and safety.
Almost all respondents (96%) agree wearing masks when flying is necessary, furthermore, 85% approve the implementation of health passports as a requirement for flying, as well as the usage of applications that encourage touchless travel.