China Eastern Struggles on Longer Domestic Routes, International Routes

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines is reporting strength on shorter domestic routes, while the SkyTeam member continues to struggle to restore traffic on longer domestic and international routes.

In filing with US regulators, the airline revealed it launched four domestic routes in September: Qionghai (BAR)-Shenyang (SHE); BAR-Harbin (HRB); Shanghai Pudong (PVG)-Urumqi (URC)-Tumushuke (TWC); and PVG-Huangguoshu (AVA).

The company also released its September capacity figures, showing a mixed performance. Capacity on international routes decreased 29.3% year-over-year, while capacity on longer domestic routes dropped 18.2% compared to September 2020. But China Eastern’s September capacity on domestic regional routes jumped 80.1% year-over-year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic still has a significant impact on the air transportation business of the company,” China Eastern said in the US regulatory filing.

The carrier reports to US regulators because it has US investors, including Delta Air Lines.

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Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.