The Chinese civil aviation sector lost about CNY24.6 billion ($3.52 billion) in February because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Chinese carriers took the lion’s share of the losses. making up about CNY 21 billion, according to a China Daily report, citing data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)

In terms of passenger traffic, the sector handled 8.34 million trips — a dramatic 84.5% drop year-on-year. 

A CAAC official quoted in the news report adds that the industry is showing some signs of improvement in recent days. 

Between 2 and 8 March, 40% of domestic flights were in operation, with the number of passenger trips during the period up 16%, compared to the same period in February. 

The official added that the bulk of such flights were from Southwest and Northwest China — areas where a large number of labourers come from — to the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions. 

The CAAC’s latest report comes as it announced a raft of measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on airlines. 

Among measures rolled out were fee waivers, infrastructure investments, as well as administrative procedure tweaks.