Chinese airlines are rapidly scaling up the number of overseas flights following the country’s lifting travel restrictions after the pandemic. The industry is confident the recovery will continue with more supportive measures in place. The increase of Air China’s flight capacity for international routes in February was up 167.4 per cent year-on-year, following China Eastern Airlines’ 425.9 per cent increase and China Southern Airlines’ 317 per cent jump, according to operational data released by the carriers on Wednesday.

Similar growth was also reflected in their January financial reports, with the three giants’ overseas passenger capacity increasing by more than 100 per cent. But although such increases are impressive, market watchers noted that the eye-catching growth was due to airlines starting from an artificially low base due to travel restrictions. 

Data from information provider VariFlight showed that the accumulated passenger flights as of Sunday (March 12) were 25,900, an increase of 187 per cent over the same period last year but a decrease of 86 per cent from the same period in 2019.