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Etihad Airways Believes Travellers Will Start Returning to China by the Summer

Etihad Airways Believes Travellers Will Start Returning to China by the Summer

Robin Kamark, chief operating officer at Etihad Airways believes passenger demand for flights to China will increase over the coming months, saying he remains “optimistic” that they’ll be an improvement in load factors by the summer. Kamark shared his thoughts as the Abu Dhabi-based airline announced its intention to start serving Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport from June 1.

“Whilst the spread of COVID-19 has posed a major challenge for all airlines serving China, with a massive drop in demand on key routes, we remain optimistic that the situation will improve by the summer,” Kamark said on Wednesday.

Beijing Daxing International Airport

Unlike the vast majority of foreign airlines, Etihad has continued to serve Beijing throughout the Coronavirus crisis – now officially classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Kamark said Etihad’s decision to keep flying near-empty planes to and from Beijing demonstrated its “unwavering support and commitment to our Chinese partners and the China market as a whole.”

Both Etihad and Emirates continue to serve Beijing at the request of the UAE-government but passengers are warned to arrive at the airport up to six hours early so that they can undergo health screening before being allowed to board.

Beijing Daxing International Airport

Etihad will move its operations from Beijing Capital airport overnight May 1 with flight EY888 landing into Daxing on June 1. A connecting service through to Nagoya, Japan will not operate until at least July 1 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Only a handful of international airlines have currently moved their operations to Dazing including the likes of British Airways, Finnair and Delta Air Lines (although these airlines continue to avoid mainland China).

British Airways currently anticipates resuming services to Beijing Daxing from April 19.

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