Back in the middle of February 2020, we looked at the groundings of aircraft by Chinese airlines. Last week we looked at our data showing the number of active aircraft in China started to increase, while the number of grounded aircraft by Hong Kong airlines continue to grow.

Last week we saw Chinese airlines had scheduled to grow the number of seats in the domestic market by 50% during the next seven weeks. Unfortunately, that short-term plan was too optimistic. For the current week, airlines have reduced the number of scheduled seats by one-fifth: from 10.5 million seats to 8.7 million. But airlines remain optimistic about the next week and estimates jump to 12 million weekly seats in the domestic market (still 0.5 million less then planned seven days ago).

Chinese airlines had planned to grow the number of seats in the domestic market by 50% during the next seven weeks but now that growth rate is reduced to 42% – still a lot of optimism in scheduled capacity.

On March 13, we covered in the ch-aviation PRO newsfeed that the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) announced new support measures to aid the aviation industry affected by the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. A total of 16 new measures include a reduction of fees at the airports, direct financial support, optimisation of licencing and schedule approval processes, among others. Earlier in March, CAAC also announced subsidies for routes to stimulate demand in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance.

We see the scheduled capacity from different airports are not estimated to grow proportionally. During the next month, the largest domestic airport in China, Beijing Capital (PEK), has a 91% growth of scheduled domestic seats. The largest domestic market in Shanghai also has significant growth scheduled with 82% growth in Pudong airport (PVG) and 56% growth in Hongqiao airport (SHA). The scheduled growth in Guangzhou is 36% while smaller markets will see significantly slower growth.

We will continue to monitor capacity shifts in the Chinese domestic market to help you to understand the trend of the recovery.

Data comes from ch-aviation capacities module.

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