Dhaka: China's aviation industry suffered a CNY 34.25 billion (USD 4.9 billion) loss in the second quarter, slightly narrower than in the first quarter, according to data released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on July 10.
In the first quarter, the industry, which includes airlines, airports and other aviation companies, lost CNY 38.1 billion.
Airlines flew a total of 30.74 million passengers last month, down 42.4 per cent year on year. The decline narrowed 10.2 percentage points from May, the CAAC said.
In the first half of the year, air passenger numbers hit 150 million, equivalent to 45.8 per cent of the volume during the same period last year.
China's aviation industry has been recovering faster than most countries emerging from the COVID-19 lockdowns, underpinned by a steady recovery in the domestic travel market after the epidemic was largely brought under control.
In June, China maintained regular cargo flights with over 100 overseas destinations in 45 countries, a significant increase over the number before the COVID-19 epidemic.
The domestic and international routes recovered to 65 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, over the same period in 2019.
The number of temporary cargo flights has also increased exponentially. A number of airlines used passenger aircraft to replace the cargo aircraft, to make up for the current shortage of cargo aircraft capacity.
"By June 30, the CAAC had organised 35 domestic airlines to transport nearly 5,000 tons of epidemic prevention and control, emergency humanitarian assistance and medical supplies. And conducted 87 shipments of "health package" supplies, involving 25 countries including the US, the UK, Japan, ROK, Italy and Russia," said Jin Junhao, Deputy Director, Transportation Department, CAAC.
The civil aviation administration also said it supported the addition of more than 300 temporary cargo flights to Japan, South Korea and other countries, effectively solving the problem of a large backlog of mail.
To tackle the issue of insufficient air cargo capacity caused by the mass cancellation of international passenger flights during the epidemic, the CAAC has taken measures such as simplifying administrative approval procedures and guiding airlines to use passenger aircraft capacity to meet freight demand.
In addition, in order to meet the international air cargo demand of many key international enterprises, the CAAC and Ministry of Commerce established a mechanism to support the demand of foreign trade and foreign-funded enterprises. So far, a total of 25 domestic airlines have participated in the mechanism.
The CAAC also adjusted policies for international passenger flights in early June, allowing more foreign carriers to resume flights to China on a once-a-week basis starting from June 8.