SCIO press conference on making every effort to ensure sound transportation services during 2023 Spring Festival

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What is the CAAC's forecast for civil aviation transport during this year's Spring Festival travel rush? What preparations have been made to guarantee civil aviation services during the travel rush?

Wan Xiangdong:

Thank you for your question. As the first travel rush after China optimized its virus prevention policies and the downgrading of the management of COVID-19 from Class A to Class B, it is expected that the number of passengers traveling by civil aviation will increase significantly. During the Spring Festival travel rush, civil aviation departments nationwide will schedule 11,000 passenger flights on average per day, which is about 73% of that during the 2019 Spring Festival travel rush. It is expected that the overall passenger flow will exhibit characteristics of staggered travel for school holidays and going back to school, for returning home and getting back to work, and for trips and other journeys. There will still be peak passenger levels around the Spring Festival holiday and after the Lantern Festival. Based on current ticket bookings for the Spring Festival travel rush, the peak appears from Jan. 18 (the 27th day of the 12th lunar month) to Jan. 20 (the 29th day of the 12th lunar month). Given the booking volume, air routes, including Beijing to Sanya, Shanghai to Beijing, Beijing to Haikou, Shenzhen to Kunming, Shenzhen to Chongqing, Hangzhou to Kunming and Shenzhen to Chengdu, rank among the top.

On the premise of ensuring safety, the CAAC actively guides airlines to arrange flight plans in a rational and well-conceived manner to ensure transport capacity and guarantee resources.

First, we support adding domestic flights during the Spring Festival travel rush and encourage airlines to deploy capacity more flexibly. This will accommodate passenger travel to popular destinations and along popular routes, such as routes from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities to Sanya, Haikou, Chengdu and Chongqing.

Second, we require all airports to strengthen contact with Spring Festival travel agencies of local governments, and inform them in advance of information, including arrival and departure flights at night and passenger volume, so that they can actively cooperate to ensure a smooth connection with the "last-mile" in urban traffic. As of Jan. 5, on top of regular domestic passenger flights, 10,313 domestic flights had been approved to be added during the Spring Festival travel rush, including 3,459 flights along routes involving Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, accounting for 33.5% of the total added domestic flights. This will effectively meet passengers' travel needs to popular places and along popular routes.

In terms of guaranteeing aviation services, all civil aviation departments will continue to follow the people-centered development philosophy and implement the work requirements of providing earnest services. The goal is to improve people's sense of security, gain and happiness for civil aviation services and ensure passenger services during the Spring Festival travel rush.

First, we will fully consider subjective and objective factors such as the market and weather and further optimize flight schedules, to effectively reduce the inconvenience caused to passengers by flight cancellations and delays.

Second, we will ensure epidemic prevention and control, guide passenger flow, reduce passenger gatherings, and try our best to provide non-contact services to passengers. We have tested and monitored the health conditions of front-line employees, and cleaned, disinfected and ventilated key places to reduce infection risks for passengers, so as to ensure safe and sound trips for them.

Third, we will ensure all aspects of service are properly attended to both onboard and on the ground. Specific focus will be given to passengers with special needs, including those with disabilities, the elderly, and unaccompanied children, in order to create a civilized, warm and harmonious travel environment.

Fourth, we will increase the answering rate of customer service calls by taking measures like increasing hotlines and service personnel to promptly handle passengers' various service demands. Thank you.

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