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Skyscanner changes leadership, focuses on post-pandemic recovery; United Airlines looks to Europe, China for overseas rebound.

China reports single-digit daily cases first time in month, “likely to see zero increase” by Spring Festival

>> China has brought down the number of daily domestic COVID-19 cases to a single digit on the mainland on Friday for the first time in more than a month since the latest sporadic outbreaks across the country, five days ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, reported state-controlled tabloid Global Times.

Experts said the latest outbreaks in the country have been effectively brought under control and it will likely record no new cases by Spring Festival.

The pandemic’s impact on Chinese travel habits

>> With parts of China implementing new travel restrictions due to the pandemic threat, this year’s Chinese Lunar New Year holiday travel will look drastically different, according to a report. The Coronavirus led a resounding 73% of the surveyed Chinese travelers to delay booking a vacation. Compared to the previous year, 53% of those surveyed are more likely to travel in their own country and 46% are more likely to travel with their own car.

Universal Beijing Resort plans to bring in Tencent Games roles

>> Universal Beijing Resort will introduce Tencent Games’ most popular IP roles within future seasonal events, marking the first-ever integration between high-profile Chinese IP with a world-renowned theme park, the resort said in an announcement on its website on Wednesday. But some users on Chinese social media criticized such partnership saying they don’t want to see Tencent gaming roles in the theme park. 

Skyscanner changes leadership, hyperfocuses on post-pandemic recovery

>> Last month Skyscanner appointed Microsoft veteran and former Travix CEO John Mangelaars to lead the company. With the move, the company also seems hyper-focusing on vibrant post-pandemic growth potential. Skyscanner has a new core mission to identify untapped demand for new direct flight services, and a focus on a recovery upswing in air travel post-pandemic. This ‘Unserved Routes’ module, inside its Travel Insight Vision business intelligence tool, could differentiate Skyscanner from competitors in a meaningful and profitable way.

United Airlines looks to Europe, China for overseas rebound

>> The coronavirus pandemic is reducing competition on some of United Airlines’ international routes, pointing the way to greater profits when people start flying overseas again. In China, United’s largest Asian market, competitors’ “capacity in the last 12 months has been redirected toward their domestic networks,” OAG analyst John Grant says. But that doesn’t mean China, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, will be an easy one for United.

Smaller Chinese carriers expect comparatively modest 2020 losses

>> The financial losses expected by three of China’s smaller carriers in 2020 are dwarfed by losses expected at the “Big Three” and troubled Hainan Airlines. Juneyao Air, Spring Airlines and Shandong Airlines said in stock exchange filings that they expect to report a combined loss excluding non-recurring items of at least RMB 1.17 billion (USD 181 million) and as much as RMB 1.38 billion. This pales in comparison to the combined loss excluding non-recurring items of at least RMB 88.6 billion and as much as RMB 104 billion expected by Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Hainan Airlines.

Greater Bay Airlines, new low cost launching in unfavorable time

>> COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 one of the worst years in history for global airlines, but the grim outlook for aviation is not stopping Greater Bay Airlines, a Hong Kong airline start-up from making plans to launch by this northern summer. 

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