Chinese Airlines Unveils “All-You-Can-Fly” Flight Promotions
With the COVID-19 crisis nowhere near the end, many countries are facing a resurgence of cases. Places like Australia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and several parts of Europe are now mulling tighter border controls and measures to stem the “2nd Wave”. Experts now predict that some form of normalcy may only return to the travel, hospitality and aviation industry in 2024.
In China, the aviation industry, which has already lost CNY34.25 billion (US$4.89 billion) in the second quarter this year, is attempting to stave off bankruptcy, and resuscitate the ailing domestic aviation sector, by introducing “all-you-can-fly” promotional packages. At least 8 Chinese airlines have introduced similar deals since June.
In June, China Eastern Airlines started the ball rolling with the launch of its CNY3,322 “Fly as you wish” promotion, which targets weekend travelers. The airline has since sold over 100,000 passes, and boosted its domestic passenger loads to over 75 percent. To boost Hainan’s tourism and MICE sectors, Hainan Airlines is also offering a similar deal at CNY2699 (US$387) for flights to or from Hainan province.
Lucky Air, which said that it would most certainly sell more of such packages in future, also unveiled offers for unlimited domestic flights on Jul 13. The deals, valid for any period between a month and a year, start at CNY1,588 (US$227) for unlimited flights over 31 days per person. 2 days later, it announced that its monthly and seasonal passes for individuals were fully sold out.
Meanwhile, South China’s largest airline, China Southern, has also launched the “Fly Happily” deal, enabling travellers to utilise their passes for as many flights as they wish, for destinations across the country from 26 Aug 2020 to 6 Jan 2020 for only CNY3,699 (US$529).
Some of China’s aviation big-wigs have chosen the path of collaboration, with Qingdao Airlines, Okay Airways and Ruili Airlines joining hands to offer unlimited weekend deals as well. Others like Juneyao Air rolled out a CNY888 package for unlimited upgrades—waiving additional costs for passengers who wish to upgrade their economy class tickets.
Prior to the pandemic, air tickets for domestic flights within China were becoming more expensive. These promotional packages can only be great news to domestic travellers in Mainland China.