China's central govt to allocate $492 mln to struggling airlines


BEIJING/SYDNEY, June 8 (Reuters) - China's finance ministry on Wednesday said it would allocate 3.29 billion yuan ($492.04 million) in the first batch of cash subsidies to airlines this year, part of the government's efforts to rescue the battered aviation industry.

Reuters calculations showed that would amount to a total of 6.53 billion yuan of fiscal support available from the central and local governments to Chinese airlines under the government's two-month support policy from May 21 to July 20.

However, given the cash would only be provided when average daily numbers of domestic flights per week are lower or equal to 4,500 flights, the amount of cash Chinese airlines receive in the end would be lower than that figure.

China's airline industry, which took a heavy hit after authorities locked down the mega city of Shanghai in early April, has showed signs of recovery in recent days. The daily number of flights had exceeded 6,000 for two days in a row, according to Variflight data on Tuesday.

Also, Chinese airlines would not be receiving subsidies for the week of June 4 to 10, as conditions for cash support were not triggered, CAAC News, a publication affiliated with Civil Aviation Administration of China said last week.

Data from OAG on Tuesday showed that airline capacity in China is returning and it increased by more than a third this week, compared to the week before.

($1 = 6.6865 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Stella Qiu in Beijing and Jamie Freed in Sydney)

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