China sees 45 pct drop in holiday travel, no "peak" expected
BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The volume of passenger trips during the Spring Festival travel rush this year is expected to be 45 percent lower than last year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, with no peak in the number of return trips, said China's Ministry of Transport on Saturday.
"Multiple measures on staggering return trips have been implemented to lower the risks of epidemic transmission, and they are producing notable results," Li Wenxin, vice general manager of the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd., said at a press conference in Beijing.
In the near future, there will be no large-scale flows of people in return trips on the railway, Li said.
It was estimated that the number of railway passenger trips after the Spring Festival would reach 280 million, with an average of 11.2 million per day, said Li, adding that in fact, the total number of passengers sent after the holiday was less than 40 million as of Friday, with an average of 1.84 million each day, down 83 percent from the same period last year.
The number of passenger trips made by air also dropped sharply, and from Jan. 25 to Feb. 14, civil aviation transported 470,000 passengers per day, a quarter of the number from the same period last year, said Li Jian, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
"The downward trend is expected to continue from Feb. 15 to 23, with less than 40 percent of seats filled," Li Jian said.
From Jan. 25 to Feb. 14, a total of 283 million passenger trips were made across the country, with 13.48 million per day, down 82.3 percent compared with the same period last year, said Liu Xiaoming, vice minister of transport.
The Spring Festival travel rush, also known as chunyun, lasts for 40 days from Jan. 10 to Feb. 18 this year.