China’s Covid-19 policy swing has caused domestic air travel to yoyo, according to a new report from energy and environmental geo-analytics company Kayrros, which was sent to Rigzone recently.

“As China’s policy swung from ‘dynamic Zero Covid’ to ‘dynamic let it rip’, its air travel demand and jet fuel consumption have been going through a roller coaster of their own,” Kayrros noted in the report. 

“Jet fuel demand spiked on the initial reopening, only to fall back somewhat amid anecdotal reports of surging infections. By year-end, domestic air travel had been rising again, potentially substantiating speculation that infection rates in some parts of the country may already have peaked,” Kayrros added.

A chart showing China’s jet fuel consumption from 2019 to 2023, which was included in the report, highlighted that this demand rose from around 250,000 barrels per day to near 400,000 barrels per day in December, before dropping towards 300,000 barrels per day then rising again near the end of the month. In early 2023, China jet fuel consumption stood at around 350,000 barrels per day, according to the chart.

In a separate report sent to Rigzone last month, Kayrros noted that China’s abrupt end to its dynamic zero Covid policy summary was breathing new life into its ailing aviation sector.

China’s weekly confirmed Covid cases jumped 45.33 percent from the week commencing December 19, 2022, to the week commencing December 26, 2022, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). Weekly Covid deaths in the country jumped 48.28 percent during the same timeframe, WHO data shows.

Total cases in the week commencing December 26 in China came in at 218,019, while total deaths in the same week came in at 648, WHO figures highlight. These numbers are still notably below WHO weekly case and death peak figures in the county, which were seen in the week commencing May 23, 2022, (576,367) and March 7, 2022, (1,955), respectively.

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