September 23, 2023

Banos Online

Traveling Around the World

Spring Airlines Offers $1.30 Flight Tickets Despite Chinese Airline Losses

Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines’ 9 yuan (US $1.3) flight ticket recently caught the public’s attention. A flight that cheap had to be too good to be true. Today, Spring Airlines confirmed the 9 yuan ticket is valid and is part of a promotion of its new domestic routes.

Recently, Chinese media reported that a flight ticket from Wuhu, a city of 3 million in Anhui Province, to Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian Province, is priced at 9 yuan on Spring Airlines’ official website. Given the background of the huge losses suffered by almost all Chinese airlines, including the privately owned Spring Airlines, this soon became news. Chinese netizens nicknamed the fare a “cabbage price,” expressing surprise at the rather low cost.

1.3 dollar

Photo: Spring Airlines

Not just one route

According to Spring Airlines, the 9 yuan ticket is not only on sale for the Wuhu – Fuzhou route, but on two other routes, both of which are also from Wuhu. They are the service connecting Wuhu with Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province, and Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei Province. Special fares for the fourth route, from Wuhu to Xiamen, a tourist destination and second-biggest city in Fujian Province, start from 59 yuan (US $8.1).


Photo: Simple Flying Staff

Wuhu Wuxuan Airport was put into operation in April 2021. Spring Airlines decided to enter the airport and launch four domestic routes earlier this year. The airliner further explained:

“At the beginning of the start of these four routes, Spring Airline launches a special fare promotion, aiming to cultivate the local passengers’ habit of flying. We want to let the people of Wuhu know that travel by air is now a new option for them besides the train.”

This is not the first time that Spring Airlines has launched a special fare promotion. Previously, when the airline launched the international route from Wuhan to Osaka in 2014, the promotion was 299 yuan (US $41).

Last week, Spring Airlines reported a net profit loss (attributable to the parent company) of -1.737 billion yuan (-$240 million) for the first three quarters, a -1185% decrease from the +160 million yuan (+$22 million) in 2021.

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Lower price than the high-speed train

The Chinese government charges a fuel surcharge and an airport construction surcharge for every flight ticket. The airport construction surcharge for the domestic route is fixed at 50 yuan (US $6.9), and the fuel surcharge adopts a linkage mechanism with aviation kerosene price, which is 120 yuan (US $16.5) now.

Despite the two surcharges, the flight ticket price of Spring Airlines’ new route from Wuhu is lower than the train ticket price, not to mention with a much shorter travel time.

For instance, passengers only need to pay 179 yuan (9 yuan for the flight ticket + 50 yuan for the airport construction surcharge + 120 yuan for the fuel surcharge, a total of US $24.6) for a ticket from Wuhu to Shenyang on November 8th.

wuhu - shenyang

Photo: Simple Flying Staff

And now there is no direct train route between Wuhu and Shenyang, passengers need to make a transfer in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, or Hefei, the capital city of Anhui Province (black line in the picture below). And the train ticket costs more than 700 yuan (US $96), and the travel time will take up to 9 hours and 30 minutes.

Wuhu - Shenyang 2

Photo: Simple Flying Staff