China's transport sector returning to normalcy after sped-up recovery
China's transport industry is returning to normalcy after experiencing some fluctuations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three quarters, said Wu Chungeng, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport.
Official data shows the sector's resilience. During the first three quarters of the year, China's fixed-asset investment in transportation reached 2.51 trillion yuan, an increase of 9.8 percent from the same period last year.
The growth rate of freight volume has returned to normal levels. In the first three quarters, 32.78 billion tons of commercial freight was completed. Although it still translates to a decrease of 3.3 percent year on year, the construction has narrowed down from 4.5 percent of the first half of the year. The third quarter saw an increase of 4.4 percent, achieving positive growth for five consecutive months.
Commercial passenger traffic continues to recover, transferring 6.81 billion people in the first three quarters, down 49.0 percent year on year. Thirty-six central cities completed public transportation passenger traffic of 29.87 billion people, down 39.5 percent year-on-year.
The commercial passenger traffic in September has recovered to 66.3 percent of the same period last year, and the public transport passenger traffic of 36 central cities has recovered to 81.7 percent of the same period last year.
In the first three quarters, the freight volume was 10.61 billion tons, a year-on-year increase of 3.0 percent, of which domestic and foreign trade tons increased by 2.4 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.
In the next step, the national transportation system will focus on consolidating the resumption of work and production, complete the goals and tasks of the "13th Five-Year" plan, prepare the "14th Five-Year" plan, and optimize the national transportation network, said Wu.
Domestic air travel
China's air travel passenger volume on domestic routes has recovered to 98 percent in the third quarter, Wu revealed.
During the country's eight-day National Day holiday that started on October 1, the average domestic daily flight volume increased by 13 percent as compared with the previous National Day holiday, data from China's aviation authority showed.
Domestic aviation will receive a further boost as China adds more flights to the seasonal winter and spring air traffic planning.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China announced earlier this month that from October 25 to March 27, Chinese airlines will fly 84,634 domestic flights a week, an increase of 19.8 percent from the same period last year, while weekly cargo flights will jump by 38.7 percent to 2,101.