China is ramping up passenger flights for the CNY Holiday Season

  • China plans to restore passenger flights volumes to 88% of their daily average for 2019 by the end of January, according to Caixin.
  • The country is moving away from its COVID zero stance and is easing restrictions. 
  • But the number of cases and deaths have reportedly been surging — even though China reported 1,918 new local cases and two deaths on Sunday.

China plans to return passenger flight volumes to near 90% of pre-pandemic levels by the end January as it opens its economy to the public after three years of economic lockdowns, according to a financial news outlet. Caixin reported Friday.

The planned flight number increase will coincide with the peak of the Chinese New Year season,Travel spikes when people return home for official week-long holidays that begin January 21, 2023.

Last week, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, released a three-stage plan to gradually increase flight numbers, following a shift in the country’s COVID-zero stanceYou can start earlier in December

Caixin predicts that daily passenger flights will reach 70% of the 2019 average by January 6, 2023 under the plan. This will increase to 88% of the 2019 levels from January 7 to January 31.

Caixin reported that the sector would be in a stable recovery phase by March 25, the last phase of the plan, through March 25.

Insider requested comment from the CAAC but they did not respond immediately.

China’s soft opening is in conflict with the rising COVID-19 cases

The CAAC’s plans to increase flight volumes coincide with an increase in COVID-19 cases in China following the loosening of restrictions. According to the CAAC, 1,918 new COVID-19 local cases were reported in China on Sunday, compared with 2,028 on Saturday. China’s National Health Commission.According to the authority, there was one death on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Sunday’s reported cases were down sharply 8,838 cases a week ago — but this number included asymptomatic cases, which China has since stopped counting. Anecdotal accounts suggest that the actual number of fatalities and infection cases is much higher than reported.

In Beijing and Shanghai, funeral homes and crematoriums are handling a growing number of COVID-19-related deaths. Associated Press, Reuters,And Financial TimesReports over the weekend 

According to a Beijing Dongjiao Funeral Home employee, 150 bodies were cremated by the state-owned Beijing Dongjiao Funeral Home last Wednesday. About 30-40 of these bodies had COVID-19. The employee told FT. China that they would be cremating them as soon as they were brought in. zero deaths last Wednesday.

“We’re burning every morning from 10pm,” a Beijing worker at the Tongzhou funeral house told the FT.

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