Coronavirus: Chinese airlines offering air tickets as cheap as a cup of coffee
With the low demand for travel in China due to the coronavirus, many airlines are offering travellers flight tickets as low as a cup of coffee, the South China Morning Post reported. The publication reported that a one-way flight ticket from Shangai to Chongqing on Spring Airlines cost $4.10 (R61.27) as a special offer for its frequent flyer club members.
Shenzhen Airlines is offering their passengers a one-way ticket to Chongqing from Shenzhen for just $14 (R214). The two hour, 15-minute long flight usually costs $276 (R4228).
Chengdu Airlines is offering one-way flights from Shenzhen to Chengdu for less than a dollar (R13.92). These actions from airlines is a hope to boost travel in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak. As the coronavirus spread, many Chinese airlines took a financial hit, which the companies hope to restore soon.
China’s aviation authority revealed that between January 25 and February 14, the average daily passenger traffic in China was just around 470,000, a 75 percent drop from the same period last year. CNN reported that more than 780 million people were under various forms of travel restrictions due to the virus.
But, there may be a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel as the Civil Aviation Administration of China in a statement revealed that flights should resume as per normal at a gradual pace.
A World Health Organization (WHO) representative revealed that the sudden rise in novel coronavirus cases in Italy, Iran and South Korea is "deeply concerning".
However, the representative said the virus could be contained and did not amount to a pandemic.
Infections linked to Iran have been confirmed in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman, while cases tied to Italy have been found in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
But for the first time on Tuesday, the number of new cases officially reported outside China - 427, by 37 countries - has exceeded new cases reported by Beijing (411), according to Tedros and figures provided by WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib.