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Red-eye Flight Ban Threatens Travel Agency
China's aviation watchdog's plan to ban all red-eye flights and tightly control chartered flight is likely to cause around 20 percent price increase on domestic tours, eastday.com reported today.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has announced plans two days ago to ban all red-eye flights, reduce air traffic and enforce an in-depth checkup of all pilots and airline employees following the crashes of two Chinese airplanes. The travel agencies of Guangzhou have held different attitude towards CAAC's plan, while agreed that the plan would shore up the prices of domestic tours. The increase margin of domestic tours will be around 20percent if the red-eye flights are under tight restriction, the spokesman with the China Southern Airlines said.

Some travel agencies, engaged in chartered flight and red-eye flight services, will face a tough challenge, said an industry analyst.

The red-eye flights that depart between 10p.m.and 6a.m., with the prices reaching less than half of the normal airfares, were among the biggest lures for airlines and travel agencies these years, especially during the golden week period. During the week-long golden week period, the number of package tours taking chartered flights or red-eye flights accounted for more than half of the total number. The plan will lead to a price increase of normal scheduled flights, dragging up the domestic tour charges, said the spokesman. It will put a larger impact on domestic travelers, rather than the business trip takers, he said.

It is good to ban red-eye flights as the different prices of chartered or red-eye flights caused different tour charges, said the spokesman of the market department of the GZL International Travel Service Ltd. They prefer to offer normal air route to travelers, so the plan will put little impact on them, he said.

(eastday.com May 14, 2002)

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