The Chinese Consulate General in New York on Tuesday reminded Chinese citizens in the U.S. or those planning to travel to the U.S. recently to pay attention to the restrictions on entry and exit imposed by the United States. In the notice, the consulate advised Chinese citizens to preserve the evidence if confronted with improper enforcement or discrimination when entering the U.S. Since February, the U.S. government has issued a bunch of temporary measures to restrict foreigners from entering the country, the notice outlined.
China has issued an alert warning its citizens not to travel to Australia in the latest sign of deteriorating relations. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism published a statement on its website saying that discrimination and violent behavior against Chinese and Asians are on the rise due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The ministry told Chinese tourists to be on alert for their safety and not travel to Australia. China is the biggest tourism spenders for Australia. From 2009-2019, the number of Chinese tourists to Australia increased by 297%, according to the China Tourism Academy.
China's top civil aviation regulator said it would increase the number of flights from certain countries that meet specific anti-viral requirements and related criteria, as the demand for business and other travel back to China is skyrocketing. Foreign businesses from the US to Europe that operate in the Chinese market are seeking to open more channels such as chartered flights for their employees to return to China. Flights between China and the US will be increased.
China’s air passenger traffic halved in May from a year earlier as the coronavirus pandemic hampered travel in the country although the pace of decline slowed from the previous month, showing the industry is on track for a gradual recovery. Air passengers numbered 25.83 million in May, down 52.6% year-on-year, according to Civil Aviation Administration of China. That compared with a 68.5% year-on-year decline in April, when passengers numbered 16.72 million. In the first five days on June, the average daily numbers of passengers and flights rose to 57.4% and 66.11% of levels seen last year, respectively, with load factors nearing 70%.
Hong Kong is lifting restrictions on travel to mainland China - but only for premiere business executives and the easing of mandatory quarantine only works one-way. Hong Kong government said that two directors or executives per company will be eligible to travel from mainland China to Hong Kong every month for "essential business activities". Executives arriving in Hong Kong from mainland China will be exempt from the city's mandatory two-week quarantine.
Cathay Pacific announced an HKD 39 billion (USD 5 billion) government-led bailout plan on Tuesday as it battles a crippling downturn caused by the coronavirus. The bulk of the capital will come from new shares issued to Aviation 2020, a company owned by the government, as well as an HKD 7.8 billion bridge loan also from the government.
Swire currently has a 45% stake in Cathay while Air China owns 30%, but once the recapitalization plan is complete, Aviation 2020 will take a 6% stake, while Swire's shares will be reduced to 42% and Air China's to 28%.
Thailand said a number of countries, including China and Japan, are interested in discussions about travel bubbles, as the nation considers protocols for the eventual return of foreign tourists. Pacts to make travel easier during the COVID-19 era are due to be discussed at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting due June 26. Morgan Stanley wrote in a June 10 note that it expects a slow cyclical recovery in tourism for Thailand from the second half of 2020, led by intra-Asian travel. It forecasts a 4% contraction in the nation’s economy this year.
Hong Kong-based TravelFlan, a travel and lifestyle AI solution startup, is in the midst of raising USD 12 million to expand across Asia after its USD 7 million late last year. TravelFlan has acquired an international travel agency in Beijing, called Beijing JueXingZiZai International Travels Ltd, and is in talks to buy an OTA in South Korea.
China's airline IT service giant TravelSky said its previous agreement to sell a stake in its mobile app unit to a couple of investors including China Southern Airlines is now terminated and replaced by a new deal to add new investor China Eastern Airlines. TravelSky Mobile Tech, the operator of TravelSky's mobile application Umetrip, will have both China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines as its new investors, each with a 12% stake of the company.
Chinese online leisure travel company Tuniu Corporation said its net revenue in the first quarter declined by more than 60% and revenue from packaged tours dropped by 67% during the time. Net loss was RMB 205.2 million (USD 29.0 million) in the first quarter of 2020, compared to a net loss of RMB148.2 million in the first quarter of 2019. The company expects its net revenues to further decrease by 86%-96% in the second quarter.
Travel search site Skyscanner has analyzed data relating to traveler trends to gauge their attitudes towards air travel during Covid-19. The results aren’t overwhelming positive at present – but they are moving in the right direction to help the sector recover. Global traveler anxiety has dropped from its highest point of 72% to the current (and lowest) figure of 58%. Skyscanner has seen a 2.6% week-over-week increase in flight sessions for APAC, driven by South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and India, which have all seen more than a 5% increase.