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Air China, China Southern August Traffic Down

Monday 17/09/2018 - Source: Reuters

Air China and China Southern Airlines carried fewer passengers in August than a year earlier as strict security measures due to the Beijing Olympics deterred travel, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.

Major Chinese airlines began posting year-on-year declines in passenger volume in May, hit by a devastating earthquake in southwest China and security steps ahead of the August Games, after a steady record of growth as China's booming economy boosted leisure and business travel.

Although many industry executives have said air traffic was likely to recover after the Games and the Paralympic Games, which ended last month, the Shanghai Securities News also cited a weaker tone in the overall economy as a factor weighing on the sector this year.

Air China's passenger volume in August slumped 16.6 percent in August from a year earlier to 2.77 million, while China Southern posted a 16.2 percent drop to 4.98 million, the newspaper said.

It cited analysts as saying that visa restrictions and other security measures in the months leading up to the Games were the main factor behind a drop in the carriers' international traffic.

Domestic travel on China's three major carriers, which also include China Eastern Airlines, had been affected as well by a severe earthquake in Sichuan province in May, which led to the cancellation of conferences and other events.

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