The impact of COVID-19 on airline passenger travel behavior: An exploratory analysis on the Chinese aviation market

Linfeng Zhang, Hangjun Yang, Kun Wang, Lei Bian, Xian Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

China was the first airline market in the world to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been gradually recovering as the pandemic is largely contained domestically. However, with the global pandemic spread and great uncertainty, there has been a remarkable change in airline passengers’ travel behavior. This paper collected air passenger-level data from TravelSky in the Chinese market. In addition to the analyses on aggregate passenger flow patterns, this paper explores changes in airline passenger travel behavior, such as ticket booking time, age distribution of passengers, refunds and ticket changes, and passenger arrival time at airports. This is one of the first studies to focus on micro-level changes in airline passenger travel behavior by using objective passenger-level data. The pandemic-induced psychological changes in air travelers are explored, providing useful managerial and policymaking implications for the normalization of the pandemic and the recovery of the airline market in the post-pandemic era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102084
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
Volume95
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Airline passenger
  • Chinese aviation market
  • COVID-19
  • Travel behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

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