Commercial aviation in China
The Chinese economy has prospered greatly ever since its doors were opened up to the rest of the world, paving the way for globalization which propelled it to the economic power it is today. The transportation of goods and services as well as the number of passengers travelling to and from China has seen a significant increase in recent years. The booming commercial aviation sector in China can be seen as an indicator of increasing wealth within Chinese society; citizens are able to afford both goods, and to travel domestically within the country as well as abroad. The Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and the Shanghai Pudong airport boasted of the largest passenger and cargo throughput in 2020 respectively. In addition, as of 2020, a total of 69,442 valid civil aircraft pilot licenses issued in mainland China.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aviation in China
With international and domestic travel having come to a standstill, several airlines across the world faced an uncertain future, or were forced to shut down. China’s air ticket sales volume also nosedived, dropping below zero percent, and an unprecedented number of refunds were processed. The China Eastern Airline was among the worst hit during this period.