Global Times - Weekend
Searches for intl flights spike after China ends ‘circuit breaker’
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 qunar.com 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.