The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) has revealed its prediction for the potential recovery of international air travel following the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Chinese authority, the sector will enter the recovery stage between 2022 and 2023.  

It is also expected that between 2023 and 2025, China will witness significant growth and expansion in both domestic and international air services. 

In a detailed five-year plan, the CAAC anticipates that 2022 will be a recovery period for the country’s aviation sector. This should focus on pandemic prevention and control measures.  

"In this period, we should make good use of the low-load period of the total civil aviation operation during the market recovery stage, speed up the implementation of major projects, speed up major reforms, rationally regulate the deployment of transport capacity, stabilize support policies, accumulate development momentum, and promote the industry to resume growth," Han Jun, director of the Development & Planning Department of CAAC, explained to local media on January 9, 2022. 

The CAAC also predicts a period of intense sector expansion between 2023 and 2025 where the main goal will be to “release the impact from [pandemic-related, ed.-] reforms and improve the level of reopening,” the development plan reads. 

The CAAC adds: “The focus is to expand the domestic market, restore the international market, release the reform results, and improve the level of opening up.”  

A recently issued guideline for the development of China’s aviation sector follows the CAAC’s ambitious plan to open more than 270 civil airports by 2025.  

Earlier in January 2022, Han Jun revealed that increasing the number of certified civil airports should help the country to boost both domestic and international passenger traffic as well as to enhance air cargo activities. It is estimated that this will result in 930 million passengers and 9.5 million tons of freight delivered annually. 

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China wants to have over 270 civil airports by the next three years.