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Airline ticket trading conquers China

A black market that thrives despite Caac intervention

Online trading on airline tickets has conquered China in the past two years. Continuous cancellations at major international airports such as Shanghai and Hong Kong made it almost impossible to buy tickets online, which were selling out quickly. This prompted some travel agents to turn to so-called scalpers, who specialize in online commercial transactions that last a few minutes.

These professionals monitor public ticketing platforms and reservation systems to quickly collect all present tickets. They operate with bots that continuously search for connections requested by travel agency customers and make reservations in no time, almost instantly. These are, in each case, tickets that come to cost 4-5 times more than normal, plus a deposit must be paid to the scalper. Some, then, receive the money and disappear without delivering the airline reservation. 

The scams multiplied after in March 2020, Civil Aviation Administration of China (Caac) reduced the number of international flights to only one per week, on a single route, for each airline traveling to China. Today, the authorities have regulated international route pricing and banned transfers and ticket exchanges. But the black market continues to thrive. 

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency