Bad news for frequent fliers between Beijing and Shanghai: your airfare is about to get a little bit pricier.
According to Caixin Global, ticket prices for flights on China’s busiest air route will increase by 10 percent, going from an average of RMB1,240 per passenger to RMB1,360. These price surges will apply to flights operated by Air China and China Eastern, two of China’s most popular carriers.
This isn’t the only unpleasant surprise for commuters, as other travel-related changes have gone into effect this year. In January, the Chinese government lifted state-set caps on domestic flight fares, allowing for a new market-based policy affecting approximately 300 routes. And just last month, ten local carriers announced that they would be resuming fuel surcharges, adding RMB10 to each adult passenger’s airfare. China has also deregulated train fares, causing price ranges to be contingent upon demand rather than set prices.
Tickets are about to get even more expensive. Image via Flickr
On the bright side, the result of these deregulations may benefit the business of local carriers, according to industry website Routes News. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) stated that the deregulations were aimed at giving Chinese airlines a leg-up in their competition with high-speed rail.
Corrine Png, chief executive of Singapore-based analyst Crucial Perspective, sheds light on the hopeful long-term effects for the global market, telling Routes News: “The progressive liberalization of domestic air fares in China is long overdue and will give the Chinese airlines greater upside in maximizing their passenger yields and profitability, especially during peak season.”
This strategy could also backfire. Png examines the complexity of the situation by pointing out that if domestic travel becomes too expensive, Chinese travelers may opt for international travel as opposed to domestic travel for leisure.
[Cover image via Pixabay]