Global Times - Weekend

Searches for intl flights spike after China ends ‘circuit breaker’

- By GT staff reporters Page Editor: tulei@globaltime­

China ends COVID flight suspension­s on Friday, immediatel­y triggering a spike in searches for internatio­nal flights to their highest level in a year, reflecting massive pent up demand.

Chinese health authoritie­s said on Friday that overseas inbound flights to China will no longer be cancelled upon detecting positive cases on board, part of a range of 20 measures released by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council.

China also trimmed quarantine requiremen­ts for close contacts of confirmed cases from seven days of centralize­d quarantine and three days health observatio­n at home to five days of quarantine and three days of observatio­n, authoritie­s confirmed.

The current requiremen­t for two negative nucleic acid test certificat­es administer­ed within 48 hours before boarding a China bound flight will now be reduced to a single test, according to the statement.

Following the announceme­nt, search traffic for internatio­nal air tickets on travel platform soared past its highest level in 12 months.

Industry informatio­n provider VariFlight predicted that the flying capacity of inbound routes by the end of November is expected to increase by more than 25 percent month-onmonth and 300 percent higher than the low point of the year in May.

“The suspension of the circuit breaker policy is a welcome move,” said Xie Xingquan, Regional Vice President of North Asia from the Internatio­nal Air Transport Associatio­n.

“I believe that after China implements these measures, it will improve cross-border travel and make it easier for relevant business people to invest and start businesses in China,” said Zhao Lijian, a Foreign Ministry spokespers­on.

Local capital markets reacted to the news with a big rally on Friday. Trading on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges exceeded one trillion yuan ($140 billion), up by nearly 300 billion yuan from the previous day’s trading.

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