Saturday, 12 May 2018

EUROPE: Chinese Air Travel Shoots Up, Europe Gains A Great Deal

Europe is set to benefit from increasing Chinese air travel with extra flights and more capacity for 2018.

The continent will see a boom in capacity on flights from China, according to the latest figures from travel pattern analyst ForwardKeys.

It reports that nine new routes and one resumed route will start during the first half of 2018, and a further three are in the pipeline.

At least four China-Europe routes are already planned for the second half of this year.

This follows an expansion in Chinese flights to the US and Australia over the past two years.

ForwardKeys predicts future travel patterns by analysing 17 million booking transactions a day.

According to its statistics, by June there will be an extra 30 flights a week from China to Europe and, based on an estimation of 200 seats per flight.

This means 6,000 more seats will be available for Europe-bound Chinese travellers.

Excluding Russia, the average total number of seats available each week last summer was 150,000.

In March alone new flights include:

- Twice weekly from Shenzhen to Madrid by Hainan Airlines.

- Resumption of three times weekly flights from Shenyang to Frankfurt by Lufthansa.

- Twice weekly from, Shenzhen to Brussels by Hainan Airlines in March 2018.

Finland is benefiting from a strong Asia strategy on the part of Finnair, which announced the opening of its seventh direct Chinese route in May 2018.

Spain, the UK and Ireland are seeing a mix of increased tourism alongside healthy Chinese business investment.

This growth will be building on an already strong start to the year.

Europe had a 10% market share of the outbound Chinese market and saw a 7.4% increase in Chinese travellers during January and February this year.

Turkey recovery after terrorist attacks increased by 108.2%, and Greece by 55.7%, compared to the same period last year.

Travel in the opposite direction is also set to increase.

Flight bookings to China, in the coming six months, from the rest of the world, are 11.8% ahead of this time last year.

Bookings from Americas, which is responsible for 25% of travel to China, are currently 24% ahead of last year.

The EU-China Tourism Year was launched in Venice in January, heralded as the largest-ever official EU-wide initiative to grow Chinese tourism across Europe.

ForwardKeys chief executive and co-founder, Olivier Jager, said It seems that the EU-China Tourism Year is having a positive impact on travel in both directions.

The Chinese have been growing in confidence for international travel for some time now and that trend is being reciprocated.

Europe clearly has a lot to gain from this increased capacity because the Chinese are ready to spend money on luxury goods while on holiday, providing good opportunities for European retailers.

Tourism Observer
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