BEIJING - China's top aviation authority forecast on Sunday that the number of airline passengers during the upcoming holiday travel period, or "chunyun," will rise eight percent year on year to 47.52 million.
Chunyun, the peak travel season during the Spring Festival, starts on Feb 4 and lasts until March 16 this year.
To cope with the anticipated surge in passenger numbers, airline companies are expected to add 12,000 flights per week, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.
State-owned China Southern Airlines, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, said it plans to add 8,000 flights during the 40-day chunyun, bringing its total flights during the period to 85,000, up 27 percent year on year.
The CAAC said that first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou will see the busiest passenger flows during the period.