Trip.com Group said its first-quarter results have been significantly and negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Net revenue plummeted 42% to RMB 4.7 billion (USD 669 million) during the quarter. Net loss for the quarter was RMB 5,338 million (USD 752 million). The Chinese online travel powerhouse posted a 62% drop in accommodation revenue and a 29% decrease in transportation revenue in the first quarter.
But the worse is yet to come in the following quarter as the company projected that net revenue will decline by 67%-77%. For the second quarter, accommodation revenue will decrease 67% to 77% year-on-year, transportation revenue is expected to plummet 70% to 80%, and packaged tour business will decrease 80% to 90%, according to CFO Cindy Wang during the conference call.
ChinaTravelNews has learned that Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-sharing platform in China, has invested RMB 50 million (USD 7 million) in starting an international travel agency based in Beijing. The travel agency will provide services covering domestic travel, inbound tours, tour information consultancy, ticket sales and others.
Didi launched more than 50 tour itineraries in Beijing and Shenzhen in 2015, after it launched the Didi bus service. But the tours were canceled in early 2017. Booking Holdings invested USD 500 million in Didi in 2018.
China's dominant GDS provider TravelSky Technology said it will sell a majority stake in its "insignificant" subsidiary TravelSky Mobile Tech to investors including China Southern Airlines. TravelSky Mobile Tech is the operator of Umetrip, a consumer-facing mobile app for flight management, check-in, flight information and other functions.
The transaction is understood as a step for the state-controlled giant to reform and better adjust to the market-based economy. TravelSky also wants to accelerate the monetization of the Umetrip platform.
Lifestyle service online platform Meituan Dianping said its revenue declined 12.6% to RMB 16.8 billion (USD 2.4 billion) in the first three months this year. Operating loss widened more than 30% to RMB 1.7 billion (USD 240 million) for the quarter. Revenues from in-store, hotel & travel were RMB 3.09 billion (USD 434 million) in the first quarter, 31.1% less than last year. The number of domestic room nights consumed in the quarter decreasing by 45.5% to 42.8 million.
Shanghai-based hotel and travel conglomerate Jin Jiang International has recently completed a major restructuring to consolidate its limited-service hotel businesses including Jinjiang Metropolo, Vienna Hotels and Plateno Group to build the Jin Jiang Hotel China Region. Simon Zhang, CEO of Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels, has been appointed chairman and CEO of Jiang Jiang Hotel China Region. The Jin Jiang International group has accelerated its international expansion through mergers and acquisitions since 2015, acquiring Louvre Group, Plateno Group, Vienna Hotels Group and Radisson Hotels.
The Chinese embassy in India confirmed that China is planning to dispatch temporary flights to India to bring back Chinese students, tourists and business inspectors who are facing difficulties in India. The embassy said the Chinese nationals in India shall bear their own financial expenses for the flight tickets of returning to homeland and the fees charged for quarantine when they arrive. Passengers with temperature of 37.3°C or above will be denied boarding.
Marriott has begun quietly adding job listings to its career recruiting websites. This makes it the first hospitality company to show early signs of recovery from an international lockdown that's been devastating to the hotel industry. By May 25, Marriott's Careers website listed 2,031 openings, up from a low of 1,764 on May 19, or 267 additional job listings. A large majority of Marriott's hiring recovery appears to be in China.
As of June 1, Hong Kong airport will gradually reopen to transit passengers, which is welcome news for airlines like Cathay Pacific, which have seen 99%+ drops in passenger numbers. This should improve Cathay Pacific’s situation somewhat, but it’ll be quite a while before things return to normal.
China’s aviation authority will consider increasing international flights as long as imported coronavirus risks are under control, state media China News reported on Wednesday, citing the agency’s deputy director, Li Jian. The maximum number of international flights now allowed is 134 a week under restrictions imposed on March 29, but the number would be increased to 407 a week from June 1, said Li of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
China domestic air travel has reached more than 50% of what it was at the same time last year, according to the data of issued air tickets collected and analyzed by travel analytics company ForwardKeys. Analysis of flight ticketing data reveals a significant uptick in last-minute domestic flight bookings in China between May 11 and 21. During that period, the lead time between ticketing and travel shortened dramatically; 72% of flight tickets were issued within 4 days of the travel date, compared with 51% at the equivalent point in 2019.