Ningbo aims to resume 80% of flights by end of March
Ningbo in East China's Zhejiang province will allocate 30 million yuan ($4.47 million) to encourage airlines to resume flights which were suspended due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. [Photo/Ningbo Evening News]
Ningbo in East China's Zhejiang province will allocate 30 million yuan ($4.47 million) to encourage airlines to resume flights which were suspended due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
It is estimated that more than 4,000 flights will be subsidized in accordance with seat occupancy rate.
The subsidy amount will vary from 10,000 yuan to 15,000 yuan per round-trip flight. In addition, airlines that have already received subsidies in the original annual plan will still benefit from the policy.
Less than 30 percent of flights are currently operating at Ningbo airport. That number is predicted to increase to 50-60 percent in early March and to above 80 percent by the end of March.
The time required to receive the subsidy funds will be reduced by nearly 50 percent from the previous year so as to relieve the financial difficulties facing airlines as quickly as possible.
The number of flights departing from Ningbo airport declined sharply due to the epidemic. The airport serviced an average of 280 flights and 40,000 passengers per day at its peak during the Spring Festival travel rush starting on Jan 10; however, the figure dropped to a minimum of 28 flights and 1,500 passengers in February, official data show.
Local enterprises are encouraged to bring employees back to work through chartered vehicles such as planes.
To date, Ningbo has sent four chartered planes to bring back more than 600 workers from Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces.
There are additional five chartered planes scheduled to depart between the end of February and early March.