China's Aviation, Chinese Military Plane

Beijing. Both cargo and passenger transportation in China’s aviation sector plunged over 60 percent year-on-year in April as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, though the decline narrowed with Chinese economic and social activities on a recovery trajectory, official data showed on Wednesday.

The country’s aviation industry realized a total transport turnover of 3.95 billion ton kilometers, a drop of 62.4 percent year-on-year, but the decrease narrowed 1 percentage point from March, Xiong Jie, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

During the same period, the sector transported 16.72 million passengers, down 68.5 percent year-on-year, narrowing 3.9 percentage points month-on-month, he said. Freight transport by cargo-only planes grew rapidly in the month to reach 237,000 tons, up 31.1 percent year-on-year.

In April, an average of 6,958 planes flew to and from China each day, down 56.9 percent year-on-year, according to the CAAC.

As downward economic pressure and the fallout of the global pandemic impact the Chinese aviation industry, authorities have rolled out a guideline to optimize the sector’s business environment to attract investment and spark market vitality.

The guideline outlines reforms in aspects including market entry, administrative approval and the negative list for foreign investment, aiming to optimize the sector’s legal environment.

Jin Junhao, an official with the CAAC, said at the same conference that China has also stepped up efforts to accelerate approvals for the international shipping of medical products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic and foreign airlines scheduled 2,365 cargo planes for the first two weeks of May, up 133.2 percent from pre-coronavirus levels.

(In association with Global Times)