Asia Pacific flight bookings to bounce back to pre-Covid levels

By Minh Hieu   February 24, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
Asia Pacific flight bookings to bounce back to pre-Covid levels
Chinese passengers arrive in Cam Ranh Airport in Khanh Hoa Province, January 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Toan
Asia-Pacific’s air travel demand will recover to its pre-pandemic levels this year thanks to the influx of Chinese outbound tourists.

The region's travel demand surged last December, reaching nearly 83% of 2019 levels, a significant improvement from the 57% reported in January 2023, as noted by the International Air Transport Association.

This year, these numbers are set to match those from before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Business Traveller.

This resurgence will be driven by a heightened tourism demand following travel restrictions removal, alongside the robust expansion of the region's economies, as reported by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

China’s booming outbound tourism is another crucial factor propping up demand for flights in the Asia Pacific region, CNBC reported.

Research from financial services provider Citi shows outbound Chinese tourists totaled 3.6 million during this Lunar New Year holiday, with a majority visiting ASEAN countries, particularly Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

In Thailand, flight bookings by Chinese tourists surged fourfold from 35,094 in the previous Lunar New Year holiday to 149,159 this year, data from travel analytics firm Cirium shows.

Similarly, flight bookings from China to Singapore jumped nearly six times to 64,469 this year from 10,873 in 2023.

Additionally, flights from China to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are expected to surge 87% year-on-year from March to June.

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