Some Chinese airlines are offering incredible deals on air travel.
At least eight of China’s dozens of airlines have introduced similar deals since June, often priced around $500 for in some cases unlimited flights. Industry watchers say the packages have been a shot in the arm, with costs offset by otherwise empty seats being filled in a country where daily flights last month recovered to 80% of pre-coronavirus levels.
China Southern is the largest airline in Asia. It is offering a “Fly Happily” promotion where customers can purchase passes for use on as many flights as they wish for destinations across the country from Aug. 26 to Jan. 6 for ¥3,699 ($529.03). China Southern is part owned by American Airlines, and they have formed a frequent flyer partnership including the ability to earn and spend miles and status on each other’s flights.
China Southern was formerly a member of the Skyteam airline alliance and it remains a Delta Air Lines partner for booking award travel. Even though Delta does not permit using its miles to book intentional first class travel, I have used SkyMiles to fly in first class on China Southern domestically in luxurious first class suites on China Southern 777s and A380s.
China Eastern is China’s second largest airline. Delta Air Lines is a part owner and has created a strategic partnership with China Eastern in addition to both airlines being members of the Skyteam. China Eastern is promoting “Fly as you wish” deal that applies to weekend flying. That promotion goes for ¥3,322 ($476).
China Eastern has sold at 100,000 passes and has achieved load factors of more than 75% on recent weekends. Hainan Airlines’ deal is limited to flights to/from Hainan province. This deal costs ¥2699 ($387).
Chinese Airlines are effectively controlled by the Chinese government. These deals are part of a concerted effort to support the Chinese economy the reopening of which has been in full swing since March.
If anyone is in China or can get there in spite of current travel restrictions, I highly recommend China Southern vis-a-vis other Chinese carriers.
What kind of a deal would it take, if anything, to get you on a plane where you live? If I was in China, I’d definitely take advantage of at least one of these offers. They are a great way to see the country and accumulate frequent flyer miles and points.