China’s aviation market which was expected to become the world’s biggest has contracted to a large extent owing to the coronavirus outbreak. China’s aviation market has moved from third to 25th position according to OAG Aviation Worldwide Statistics. With that, it has become smaller than Portugal’s aviation market, OAG Aviation said.
Chinese and other global carriers were forced to reduce capacity owing to the coronavirus outbreak in Hubei province. According to OAG Aviation Worldwide statistics, nearly 1.7 million seats, accounting for 80 percent of the capacity were dropped from China between the period January 20 to February 17.
OAG Aviation Worldwide is the leading provider of digital flight information. John Grant, senior analyst at OAG, told the media in a report, “No event that we remember has had such a devastating effect on capacity as coronavirus. In many ways it highlights the importance of the Chinese market to aviation and the rapid globalisation of air services as new markets and travellers emerge.”
It is reported that several airlines have suspended flights to China. China’s three main airlines reduced international capacity by 80 percent to 90 percent, according to OAG data. The OAG report points out that Chinese carriers’ international services have been drastically reduced compared to Central Asian and African airlines.
Taiwan is the most affected by the airlines’ capacity reduction, media reports said. A new Taiwanese airline Starlux is affected by the current market conditions resulting in a delay to launch a new service to Cebu in the Philippines.