Two-thirds of China’s passenger planes have been grounded as travel restrictions and fear sparked by the coronavirus outbreak batter passenger numbers and force the country’s airlines to scale back operations dramatically.
The total number of passengers carried by Chinese airlines from the end of the lunar new year break on January 27 to February 12 was 10.21m, down 70 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Less than half of all seats were filled on an average flight during the period, according to the CAAC.
Collapsing passenger numbers have forced airlines to slash routes and put pilots on unpaid leave. Across China up to 70 per cent of aircraft are grounded as a result, according to industry analysts.