Air Travel in China Begins To Bounce Back in 2023

Photo Credit: Md. Shaifuzzaman Ayon/AviationSource

LONDON – It remains clear that air travel in China is beginning to bounce back in 2023, with many global destinations offering a wide variety of choice.

Via a study released by Mabrian, the company has outlined which destinations around the world are taking significant advantage of China’s reopening based on schedules from January 2023.

Without further ado, let’s get into the numbers…

China To Be Well-Linked by Hungary, Poland & Portugal…

Source: Mabrian.

As you can see from this graphic, Budapest, Lisbon, and Warsaw are the only destinations offering more flights to China compared to the same period in 2019.

Flights from Budapest to China have skyrocketed from 90 flights in 2019 to 214 in 2023, an increase of 138%.

Lisbon to China also experienced triple-digit growth, with this increasing from 43 in 2019 to 89 in 2023, a 107% increase.

Finally, flights between Warsaw and China have increased by 6% compared to pre-COVID levels.

Some Global Destinations Still Have A Lot to Do…

Air China will be one of the airline's set to make a bounceback in air travel.
Photo Credit: Karam Sodhi/AviationSource

The graphic also highlights a lot of percentage decreases compared to 2019 levels, but this is to be expected due to China’s slow reopening of its borders.

Krasnoyarsk is at the bottom of the table, with the airport suffering a 96% drop in flights compared to 2019 levels, with the 2023 figures currently at 12 flights.

Paris is also up there as well, with drops of 90% reported by Mabrian when there used to be 4,534 flights operating between the French capital and China.

Amsterdam is another one, which is 82% down compared to 2019, with the airport only receiving around 436 flights instead of the 2,464 flights in that pre-pandemic year.

Mabrian also notes that the recovery of the market will be slow to occur as well despite there being a significant appetite for travel within China.

China Eastern Airlines will be another carrier looking to bounceback in the air travel segment post-COVID.
Photo Credit: Kyle Hayes/AviationSource

This is why the company is also calling on airlines to restore services as quickly as possible, as the evolution of connectivity needs to improve.

Expanding more on this was Carlos Cendra, Mabrian’s Director of Marketing & Sales:

“In order to be competitive and recover the Chinese market more quickly, it is key to follow the evolution of connectivity closely, to know the possible change in the interests and preferences of travelers after the pandemic and benchmark competing destinations.”

“For this, it is key to work hand in hand with tourism intelligence to be able to make better decisions regarding planning for this year”. 


Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

It remains clear that the air travel market in China is beginning to recover, and that is a good sign, irrespective of how slow that process is.

We know this because Lisbon, Budapest, and Warsaw operate more flights to the country compared to pre-pandemic levels.

With China being a major market in the commercial airline business, it is going to be interesting to see how quickly airlines will return to the region.

Such a process has already begun, with Air France announcing plans for their return to the country. This will be a space to watch out for in the short-term future.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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