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September 01, 2020 1:20pm
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Cirium: International Travel Resumes This Spring Festival to China’s Top International Markets of Thailand, Japan and South Korea

With the arrival of the Year of the Dragon, China’s travel sector is expected to deliver a strong performance over the Spring Festival, particularly on the international front as air capacity continues to resume, according to leading aviation analytics company Cirium.

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China's Top International Destinations, 2019 to 2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

China's Top International Destinations, 2019 to 2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Data from Cirium reveals that China’s top 10 international destinations have largely returned to pre-pandemic rankings, with Thailand, Japan and South Korea back at the top three positions after dipping to pandemic lows in recent years. Other interesting movements in rankings include the entry of Australia and Macau, and the absence of the United States and Cambodia since February 2019.

While overall seat capacity on China’s international routes (non-mainland) are still 27% behind pre-pandemic levels, there are three bright spots where capacity has surpassed 2019 levels. Scheduled capacity in February 2024 show Bangkok as the city with most arrivals from China, but Macau (+8%), Singapore (+6%) and Tokyo (+2%) show the largest improvements from 2019.

Recent changes in visa requirements, particularly in Southeast Asia will potentially bolster international travel from China. In recent months, Thailand has waived visa requirements while Malaysia will offer 30-day visa-free travel for Chinese citizens. Singapore has also announced plans for the same, which comes as a timely boost for Spring Festival travel.

On the domestic front, China’s seat capacity continues to perform strongly, growing 26% in Feb 2024 against pre-pandemic levels, fuelled by the addition of flights by China’s big three airlines, Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, making Guangzhou (CAN), Shenzhen (SZX) and Beijing (PEK) the busiest airports in China this Spring Festival.

About Cirium

Cirium is the world’s most trusted source of aviation analytics. Through powerful data and analytics, coupled with decades of industry experience, Cirium is enabling airlines, airports, travel companies, aircraft manufacturers, and financial institutions, amongst others, to make intelligent and informed decisions that improve operations, grow revenues, and enhance customer experiences.

Cirium is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The shares of RELX PLC are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.

For further information please follow Cirium updates on LinkedIn or visit


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