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国际航空公司仍然看好长期前景

2020-3-26 14:45

2020年3月14日,在日本大阪关西国际机场,一名员工戴着防护口罩,在日本全日空航空公司(ANA)的标志前经过。【图片/机构】


国际航空公司仍对中国的长期前景充满信心,尽管在各国争相阻止“致命传染病”蔓延之际,中国航空业正受到一连串航班取消和停飞的影响。


目前,只有不到10家国际航空公司开通了直飞中国的航班。这些公司包括新加坡航空公司、亚洲航空公司、全日空航空公司、俄罗斯国际航空公司和埃塞俄比亚航空公司。泰国最大的航空公司泰航(Thai Airways)表示,将从周三起暂停所有国际航班,直至5月底。泰航仍在中国运营。


中国在控制疫情方面取得了稳步进展,目前正在大力控制输入病例。从周日开始,所有飞往北京的国际航班都被首先转移到中国的12个城市,乘客在飞往北京之前必须接受严格的健康检查。检查过程预计需要10到14个小时。


“是否运营航班取决于市场和地方政府。随着泰国等多个国家对外国公民的旅行限制,基本上没有乘客会乘坐航班,航空公司很难出售机票,”航空分析师林志杰说。


“航班的取消也部分与北京的航班改道政策有关。在另一个中国城市的额外工作时间和额外的起降将增加运营成本,而大多数外国航空公司在这些中转城市没有支持设施,”他说。


阿拉伯联合酋长国也决定在最初的14天内暂停所有的商业航班,作为遏制COVID-19扩散措施的一部分。


由阿提哈德航空公司运营、从阿布扎比飞往北京的EY888航班预计将从周四开始停止运营。早些时候,大量从欧洲飞往中国的中国乘客选择在阿布扎比转机,因为大多数从欧洲到中国的直航航班已经取消。


阿提哈德航空集团(Etihad Aviation Group)首席商务官罗宾•卡马克(Robin Kamark)认为,长期而言,情况将有所改善。COVID-19对所有服务中国的航空公司都构成了重大挑战,主要航线的需求大幅下降。我们乐观地认为,到今年夏天,情况会有所改善。”


“我们决定在疫情期间开通北京至阿布扎比之间的航班,表明我们对整个中国市场的坚定支持和承诺,”他本月早些时候在宣布航班停飞之前表示。


新加坡航空公司表示,将在4月底前削减96%的原有运力,以防止疫情蔓延。该公司表示,此次疫情是该公司自成立以来面临的最大挑战。目前,新加坡和中国之间仍有几条直航航线。从周二开始,该公司还开通了新加坡至北京、上海的每日往返航班。该公司还将开通新加坡至广州的每周三次航班,此外还将开通新加坡至重庆的每周航班。


“中国是新加坡航空最重要的市场之一。为了满足中国乘客的各种旅行需求,我们一直在改进我们在中国的服务,”该公司在给《中国日报》的书面回复中说。


需求下降也影响了运营商的收入。新加坡航空(Singapore Airlines)表示,它已采取多种措施来削减成本,比如推迟交付新飞机,以及削减高管薪酬。


在中国载客量最大的马来西亚廉价航空公司——亚洲航空(Air Asia)仍在维持数个连接吉隆坡与北京、上海、广州等城市的航班。该公司表示,将为湖北省武汉市符合条件的一线医务人员提供10万张中国至东南亚往返航班的可兑换机票,而他们的家人和朋友将获得20%的折扣。


全日空已经暂停了一批国际航班,并维持较少的东京至北京、大连、青岛和厦门的航班。该公司表示,1987年开通了飞往中国的航班,中国市场相当重要。尽管目前航班数量大幅减少,但该公司相信,危机结束后需求将恢复。

 

An employee, wearing protective mask following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), passes in front of All Nippon Airways (ANA) logo at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, March 14, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

 

International carriers remain bullish on long-term prospects in China even as the aviation sector reels from a flurry of cancellations and groundings as nations scramble to halt the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

 

Currently, only less than 10 international carriers are operating direct flights to China. These include firms like Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Aeroflot and Ethiopian Airlines. Thai Airways, the largest carrier in Thailand, which maintained operations to China, said it would suspend all its international flights from Wednesday till the end of May.

 

China, which has been making steady progress in controlling the outbreak, is presently making intense efforts to curb imported cases. Starting from Sunday, all international flights to Beijing have been diverted to 12 Chinese cities first, and passengers are made to undergo strict health checks before being cleared for flights to Beijing. The inspection process is expected to take 10 to 14 hours.

 

"Whether to operate flights or not depends on the markets and local governments. With travel restrictions for foreign citizens implemented in multiple countries, such as Thailand, there are basically no passengers who will take flights, and it's difficult for carriers to sell tickets," said Lin Zhijie, an aviation analyst.

 

"The cancellation of flights is also partly related to the flight diversion policy of Beijing. The extra hours, and extra landing and takeoff taken at another Chinese city will increase operational costs, and most foreign carriers don't have support facilities in these transit cities," he said.

 

The United Arab Emirates has also decided to suspend all commercial flights for an initial 14 days as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

 

The EY888 flight operated by Etihad Airlines that flies from Abu Dhabi to Beijing is expected to stop operations from Thursday. Earlier, a large number of Chinese passengers who fly from Europe-the new epicenter of the contagion-to China chose to transfer in Abu Dhabi, as most direct flights from Europe to China had been canceled.

 

Robin Kamark, chief commercial officer of Etihad Aviation Group, believes that the situation will improve in the long term. "COVID-19 has posed a major challenge for all airlines serving China, with a massive drop in demand on key routes. We are optimistic that the situation will improve by summer," he said.

 

"Our decision to operate flights between Beijing and Abu Dhabi during the epidemic period demonstrates our unwavering support and commitment to the China market as a whole," he said earlier this month before the flight suspension was announced.

 

Singapore Airlines said it would reduce 96 percent of its original capacity until the end of April to prevent the spread of the epidemic. The company said the outbreak has been its biggest challenge since inception. It still maintains several direct flights between Singapore and China. From Tuesday, it has been also operating daily round-trip flights between Singapore and Beijing, Shanghai. It will also operate flights between Singapore and Guangzhou three times a week, in addition to a weekly flight that connects Singapore and Chongqing.

 

"China is one of the most important markets for Singapore Airlines. To meet various travel demands from Chinese passengers, we have kept improving our services in China," the carrier said in a written reply to China Daily.

 

The falling demand has also crimped revenue of carriers. Singapore Airlines said it has taken multiple measures to cut costs, such as delaying deliveries of new aircraft and cutting salaries of executives.

 

Air Asia, the Malaysian budget carrier with the largest passenger load in China, is still maintaining several flights that connect Kuala Lumpur with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities. The company said it would give 100,000 complimentary redeemable tickets for eligible front-line medical staff in Wuhan, Hubei province, for one return flight between China and Southeast Asia, while their families and friends will get a 20-percent discount.

 

ANA has suspended a group of international flights, and it maintains fewer flights connecting Tokyo with Beijing, Dalian, Qingdao and Xiamen. The carrier said it launched flights to China in 1987, and the China market is quite important. Despite a large reduction in the number of flights for now, the company believes demand will resume after the crisis is over.

 

原作者: Zhu Wenqian 来自: china daily