With the May Day holiday around the corner, domestic airlines have dramatically discounted their ticket prices; some as low as 80-90% off!
For outbound flights from April 29 to May 2, tickets between Beijing-Guangzhou were as low as RMB 228, while Beijing-Shanghai and Shanghai-Shenzhen routes ranged between RMB 250-400. Tickets for Hangzhou-Beijing came up around RMB 220. Other major cities around China are also reachable with 60-70% discounts.
Based on an analysis of several flight booking platforms, the average ticket price for domestic flights for the May Day holiday is the lowest it has been in the last five years.
Compared to last year, a flight from Shanghai to Dunhuang in western Chinas Gansu province now costs RMB 860, down 43.53% from RMB 1,523. Tickets for Shanghai-Lhasa in Tibet are as low as RMB 1,124 as opposed to RMB 1,666 a year ago, while Guangzhou-Daocheng Yading prices dropped to RMB 1,188 instead of RMB 1,622 back in 2019.
One of the biggest drops of the holiday has been for Beijing-Beihai flights, down over 64% to just RMB 545 to reach Chinas southwestern coastal city.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the industry has suffered a cumulative loss of RMB 39.82 billion in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic, of which airlines suffered a loss of RMB 33.62 billion. The big four airlines, Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and Hainan holdings, for example, each had a load factor of less than 60% in March.
With the country slowly getting back to normal, a full recovery of the travel industry is yet to be in motion, which will rely heavily on people feeling comfortable enough to go places away from their home again without the fear of being stranded elsewhere.
Despite such low prices, travelers are advised to check local regulations on COVID-19 prevention measures before booking their flights, as some regions may operate differently from others.
Editor: Crystal H