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UPDATE 1-China aims for 2023 air traffic at 75% of pre-pandemic levels

Reuters · 01/06/2023 01:58
UPDATE 1-China aims for 2023 air traffic at 75% of pre-pandemic levels

Adds details of 2022 figures, break-even profit target


- China's aviation regulator wants passenger traffic to reach around 75% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, up from 38% last year when the since-abandoned zero-COVID policy led to domestic lockdowns and kept the border closed, state media reported on Friday.

The Chinese airline industry should also strive to break even this year, said the regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, according to broadcaster CCTV.


China's major state-owned airlines have reported
billions of dollars
of losses for the first three quarters of 2022.


Fourth-quarter results have been released yet but they are also expected to be poor, according to analysts, as the dismantling of the zero-COVID regime did occur until the end of the quarter.


The outlook for 2023 is brighter, with Chinese airlines expected to be the
early winners
from its Jan. 8 international opening, because they kept most employees and widebody aircraft ready. Foreign carriers have been struggling with capacity constraints since other countries opened borders.


(Reporting by Beijing ; writing by Jamie Freed; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Bradley Perrett)

((bernard.orr@thomsonreuters.com))