Beijing Airport Deserted: Foreign Visits Plummet 90%, 50 Million Fewer Passengers Expected in 2023

Beijing Airport Deserted: Foreign Visits Plummet 90%, 50 Million Fewer Passengers Expected in 2023

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Three years of the pandemic, coupled with the Chinese government's strict lockdown policies, have caused unprecedented impacts on the civil aviation industry. The sharp decline in passenger throughput has plunged many airlines into losses. Data shows that China's civil aviation industry lost nearly 400 billion yuan.
Capital Airport is no exception. Between 2018 and 2019, the airport's passenger throughput exceeded 100 million. However, after the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, the number of passengers plummeted, with 2021's traffic only 33% of 2019's, dropping to sixth place; in 2022, it further fell to 13% of 2019's, ranking 11th. The annual passenger throughput of less than 13 million in 2022 set a record low for Capital Airport since the 21st century.
After China's pandemic control measures were relaxed this year, the airport faced an unprecedented exodus of foreign capital and a sharp decrease in foreign tourists, resulting in little improvement in its operation. According to Chinese media reports, as of August 11, 2023, Capital Airport's passenger throughput was a bit over 30 million, with international and regional passengers exceeding 3.5 million. Converted to annual passenger flow, it is only equivalent to about 40% of the 2019 level.