Chinese “Big Three” – China Southern Airlines (ZNH), China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) and Air China – have released their end-of-quarter statements, warning investors of significant adverse effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The statements mirror each other in their descriptions of pandemic’s effects on the industry and “great uncertainty” in recovery of the international market. The amount of international passengers in June 2020 decreased by more than 95% for China Southern and China Eastern in comparison with June 2019.
Despite that, the recovery of Chinese domestic market is in sight. Air China, China Eastern and China Southern measured 11.5%, 23% and 21% monthly increase in domestic passenger traffic respectively, lagging approximately by a third behind last year’s results.
Monthly increase of international passengers is even larger – up to almost 38% for Air China – but total numbers are still too low and prospects still too unclear to talk about a stable recovery.
International freight traffic shows different results though, registering significant increase for China Southern and China Eastern, the former making note of passenger-to-cargo conversions of its numerous aircraft.