Chinese carriers anticipate a 77% year-on-year decrease in air passenger traffic during the Labour Day holiday period, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). 

During Golden Week, Chinese carriers are expected to carry just 2 million passengers (approximately 400,000 passenger per day), Liang Nan, director of the Transportation Department of the CAAC, announced during a press conference on April 28, 2022. 

The negative forecast was attributed to low “willingness” to travel following the “severe and complicated” COVID-19 pandemic situation in China. 

The Labour Day holiday in China, also known as the Golden Week period, begins on April 30 and ends on May 4, 2022. Golden Week in China is usually considered a busy and lucrative travel period for the country’s carriers.  

Passenger traffic numbers in March 2022 dropped 69% year-on-year, said Wu Shijie, deputy director of Aviation Safety Office of CAAC. 

In March 2022, China's Big Three airlines - Air China, China Southern Airlines (ZNH), and China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) – saw the lowest passenger numbers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The steep plunge in passenger traffic was attributed to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and stringent quarantine measures across the country.   

China is considered to be one of the strictest places in the world in terms of quarantine requirements and travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the country's strict Zero-COVID policy, millions of people in China have been placed under lockdown.   

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Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines have seen a sharp decline in March 2022 passenger traffic.