According to data from aviation data provider Cirium, scheduled flights from China are projected to reach 99.8% of pre-pandemic levels in January 2023.
This is a significant recovery ahead of the Chinese New Year, a major holiday for Chinese citizens and a time when many families travel to celebrate.
In total, over 408,800 flights are scheduled to depart China this month, equating to over 69.4 million seats.
However, it is important to note that this recovery is largely for domestic travel, with intra-China flights being up 9.5% in January 2023 compared to January 2019.
On the other hand, international departures from China remain 89.8% down this month compared to pre-pandemic levels.
This highlights the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel, as many countries continue to have restrictions in place for travelers coming from China.
Despite this, the recovery of domestic travel in China is a positive sign for the aviation industry, which has been greatly affected by the pandemic.
The Chinese New Year is also a peak travel period, and the increase in flights and seats indicates a growing confidence in the safety of travel.
It remains to be seen how long it will take for international travel to recover to pre-pandemic levels, but the signs of recovery in domestic travel in China are a hopeful indication that the industry is on the path to recovery.