With consumer confidence in the world’s second largest economy almost returning to pre-Covid levels, thanks to China’s tight grip on the pandemic, domestic airlines have performed unusually well.
In October, the nation’s airlines carried 50 million passengers overall, or 88 per cent of last year’s traffic. Like its competitors, Air China has seen a surge in domestic demand and now operates 1,287 flights daily, a 22.5 per cent increase year-on-year, according to Shanghai Daily’s Shine.
At its Travel Mart exhibition booth, the Star Alliance member showcased some of its latest cabin cleaning procedures and inflight menu offerings. Following a campaign launched this year, Air China’s new meal boxes encourage passengers to clear their plates to reduce food waste,
The airline also launched a series of promotions as it gears its focus on domestic travel.
Air China’s ‘Double City Pass’ offers frequent flyers discounts on travel between two designated cities. A 399 yuan ($60) Guangzhou to Beijing pass, for instance, entitles travellers to a 10-voucher bundle valued at 150 yuan ($22) each, according to its Chinese website.
In addition, the carrier has rolled out youth discounts for travellers aged 18-25 and a ‘Curiosity Calendar’, allowing flights to be booked at mystery fares.
However, Air China’s international operations continue to paint a different picture. The airline said it still complies with China’s ‘five-one’ policy, flying only once a week to any foreign country to control the spread of Covid-19.
Entry into China also remains heavily restricted or shut to non-Chinese nationals.