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Airlines Increase China Flight Capacity After Border Opening

According to aviation data provider Cerium, airlines have increased international seat capacity to and from China by 9.5% in the last week.

Chengdu Airport, China
Chengdu Airport, China

This comes after the country opened its borders and is a result of flights being ramped up, although they remain at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels. Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways added the most seats, with over 52,000 added as its border with the mainland opened.

China Airlines Expect to Benefit from International Reopening

As the international capacity to and from China scheduled for February has risen by 23% over the last week and March by 13% over the same period, according to Cirium data, Chinese airlines are expected to benefit from the country's international reopening. These airlines have kept most of their widebody planes and staff ready while foreign carriers struggle with capacity constraints after previous border openings.

Capacity to Increase Further in April

A significant increase in capacity is expected in April, after the start of the summer airline schedule season on March 26. According to Cerium data, seats to and from China will rise to 4.3 million per month in April, up from approximately 1.85 million on January, 2 million in February, and 2.7 million in March. This will represent around 25% of the capacity seen in 2019.