Chinese airlines map more flights to cope with surging outbound travel demand

Chinese airlines are planning to add more flights to cope with surging outbound travel demand with the implementation of visa reciprocity policies between China and many countries.

China Eastern Airlines plans to launch a route from Beijing Daxing to Kuala Lumpur on January 31, with four flights every week, Guo Ting, a market manager from China Eastern Airlines told the Global Times on Friday.

The number of overseas routes operated by China Eastern at Daxing airport will reach eight by then, Guo added.

The outbound travel is expected to reach a new peak during this year's Spring Festival period brought by more overseas destinations implementing visa-free policies to Chinese travelers, Guo said.

The remarks came at the first day of China's 40-day Spring Festival travel rush, which the airport predicted that it will handle 5.5 million passenger trips for the travel rush until March 5.
Our outbound travel demand is surging recently, for example, the demand for the route between Beijing Daxing to Doha launched in October of last year is rising, and we deploy wide-body aircraft to cope with the demand, Liu Zheng, a manager from Xiamen Airlines told the Global Times.

Both inbound and outbound travel at Beijing Daxing International Airport has continued to increase as the airport has formally restarted such services on January 17, 2023. The inbound and outbound passenger trips in 2023 reached 2 million, and the airport has opened more than 30 overseas routes by the end of 2023.

The inbound and outbound passenger trips in 2024 of the airport are expected to exceed four million, Wang Qiang, deputy general manager of aviation business department of Beijing Daxing International Airport told the Global Times.

Shanghai-based Spring Airlines also told the Global Times on Friday that it will resume, add or increase 64 routes in this Chinese Lunar New Year travel rush, most of which are international routes.

Beijing Capital International Airport expected that overseas passenger flow will reach 1.41 million passenger trips during the period, with an average of 35,000 per day.

Chinese market watchers attributed to the rising demand to the visa exemption launched by more countries, and the latest example is that China and Singapore on Thursday agreed on mutual visa exemption, which will officially come into effect on February 9, 2024.

To date, China has established mutual visa exemption agreements with 157 countries, covering various types of passports. It has also reached agreements or arrangements to simplify visa procedures with 44 countries and has achieved comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 22 countries, including Singapore, the Maldives, and Kazakhstan.

In addition, over 60 countries and regions offer visa-free entry or visa-on-arrival facilities to Chinese citizens.

Various airlines have proposed to arrange more than 2,500 new international scheduled flights and overtime charter flights during the Spring Festival travel period, and the most of newly planned will be the markets in Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and other surrounding countries and regions, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said on January 8.

Chinese stock indexes rally on Tuesday as State Council meeting pledges strong measures to support capital market

The Chinese stock market rallied on Tuesday after hitting the three-year low, boosted by a State Council meeting vowing to take "stronger, more effective measures" to stabilize the capital market and improve market confidence.

Analysts are generally positive about the prospect of China's stock market, which has become one of the most attractive markets globally in terms of valuation of shares.

The Shanghai Component Index closed up 0.59 percent to 2,770.98 on Tuesday, the Shenzhen Composite Index rose by 1.38 percent to 8,596.28. The tech-heavy ChiNext index went up by 1.24 percent to 1,687.61.

Stocks of many Shanghai State-owned enterprises staged a stellar performance, with companies including Shanghai Phoenix Enterprise (Group) Co, Shanghai Material Trading Co, Capital Securities Co and China Television Media rising by the daily limit.

A meeting of the State Council, the cabinet, held on Monday pledged "stronger, more effective measures" to stabilize the market and improve market confidence.

Efforts will be made to enhance the innovation and coordination of policy tools, consolidate and strengthen the trend of economic recovery, and promote the stable and healthy development of the capital market, according to meeting notes.

According to a report by Bloomberg Tuesday, relevant Chinese authorities are seeking to mobilize about 2 trillion yuan ($278 billion), mainly coming from offshore accounts of state-owned enterprises, as part of a stabilization fund to buy shares onshore through the Hong Kong exchange link.

In Hong Kong market, the Hang Seng Index rose by 3.26 percent to 15,448.54 points as of 2:30 pm Tuesday, regaining the psychological threshold of 15,000.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is closely following Hong Kong equity market fluctuations, and considers the market still operating in an orderly fashion without abnormal phenomenon, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday.

As an international financial hub, Hong Kong SAR remains competitive and attractive. Hong Kong enjoys free capital flows, highly transparent operations and sound supervision system, according to Lee. He said the equity market fluctuations are mainly due to market factors, calling for investors to make decisions by closely following market changes.

The Chinese stock market has become one of the most attractive markets across the world in terms of share valuation. The valuation of A-shares is about half that of US market stocks, Zhu Liang, chief investment officer of AllianceBernstein's office in China, said in a note sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

China is the world's largest foreign trade country and its capital market is a venue that could provide good yields. Currently, investors across the globe are quietly paying attention to A-share market, Zhu said, noting that they are "waiting for wind." In 2024, listed Chinese companies are expected to maintain a good profit growth, with the growth rate of earnings per share (EPS) expected to be around 17 percent, Zhu said.