The list of airlines refusing to fly to China is growing amid coronavirus outbreak fears. Whilst this initial collapse of the Chinese aviation market seems to spell out doom, it won’t last forever. We’re confident that China’s aviation industry will bounce back. And here’s why…
Coronavirus presents a significant financial impact
There’s no need to question how Coronavirus is affecting the Chinese aviation market. The impact is clear. Over the past few weeks, airline after airline has withdrawn its interest in flying to China in the interest of containing the outbreak. In the six-day period between 23rd January and 28th January, nearly 10,000 flights were canceled and it’s not just airlines outside of China that have been affected.
In fact, airlines within China are suffering the most. Many domestic routes throughout China have been canceled and that’s not good news. The domestic aviation market in China is expected to be the world’s most preeminent by 2028. Could Coronavirus affect this?
All in all, Coronavirus is proving to be a significant financial burden. However, it won’t stay that way.
Flying to China for business
It goes without saying that China is a large country and with a large population, it has a significant part to play in the world’s business stage. It’s one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies. It has the largest consumer market, the largest luxury goods market, and over 20% of the world’s largest companies are in China. It’s huge which makes business in China a very attractive proposal.
Interest in this profitable market certainly won’t stop any time soon and once the threat of Coronavirus is over, business will continue as usual.
For airlines, that means a continued influx of business passengers looking to travel to and from China. This in itself will aid the recovery of the Chinese aviation market post-Coronavirus. However, it’s not the only way.
Tourism in China returns
China certainly reaps the benefits of being a large country. Tourism in China is booming and the country has a plethora of attractions to offer. From the Great Wall to the Forbidden City to visiting Tibet or the Terracotta Army near Xi’an there is something for everyone. What’s more, China is still one of the most visited countries in the world and, just like the business industry, the tourism sector is not likely to evaporate.
A lot of airlines use China as a key destination in their route networks. Ethiopian Airlines was recently looking at adding three Chinese destinations to its network.
However, it’s not just for the benefit of tourists. Chinese nationals living abroad will still depend on China’s extensive flight map to get home and visit family. Even during the outbreak, the Coronavirus has not proved deterrent enough to separate loved ones.
International ventures for Chinese airlines
Although many countries worldwide are still interested in flying to China the feeling is mutual. Chinese airlines are still looking to grow themselves and once flight bans are lifted, they will be free to develop.
In the final quarter of 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Greece and China allowing airlines to operate additional flights between the two countries. China’s Juneyao Airlines promptly responded by scheduling flights to Athens.
Chinese tourists and business people also present welcome opportunities for other countries in terms of economic prosperity and strengthened relations. Undoubtedly, this will continue post-Coronavirus.
When will the aviation market rebound?
There’s no doubting that China’s aviation market will rebound but the question is when. That answer is not readily available at the moment and whilst we wait for scientists to find a cure China’s economy slowly worsens.
What’s more, once the flight ban is lifted there will be a lot of work to be done on rebuilding trust. It’s likely that the return to normality will be slow but not inconceivable.
Do you agree with us? Have your say in the comments.