Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes

Yang Jian
The city's airport authority launched its first livestreaming event at Pudong International Airport on Saturday, attracting more than 1.5 million online viewers.
Yang Jian
Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Ti Gong

A host of the Shanghai Airport Authority guides online viewers around Pudong airport's hotel and terminal buildings on Saturday.

The city’s airport authority launched its first livestreaming event at Pudong International Airport on Saturday, attracting more than 1.5 million online viewers.

Hosts of the Shanghai Airport Authority experienced the airport hotel, VIP lounge, dining and shopping facilities of the Pudong airport during the two-hour livestream.

Free tickets, hotel rooms, VIP lounge admissions and other coupons with total values of 100,000 yuan (US$15,260) were presented. The restored domestic flights and passenger volumes have also been showcased through the live event.

Since the summer-autumn aviation season starting March 28, the number of daily flights at the airport has been restored to the level before the coronavirus outbreak.

Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Yang Jian / SHINE

Travelers at the T2 terminal of Pudong airport.

More than 900 domestic flights take off and land at Pudong International Airport every day, a 26 percent increase compared with that before the pandemic. The airport is handling 110,000 domestic travelers every day, an 18 percent increase from 2019. 

The first livestream by airport authority is one of the efforts to help bring businesses at the airport, which was critically affected by the COVID-19, back on track, said Yin Xiao’en, assistant general manager with the business operation company of Pudong airport.

“We’d like to try these new measures such as livestreaming and wanghong (internet sensation) that are more acceptable to young customers,” Yin said.

Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Yang Jian / SHINE

The T2 terminal at Pudong airport is busy.

As the volume of domestic travelers keeps rebounding, the total sales of the stores and eateries at the airport’s terminal buildings are expected to fully recover during the Labor Day holiday starting May 1, he said.

Pudong International Airport has about 70,000 square meters of commercial facilities at T1 and T2 as well as S1 and S2 satellite terminals. The world’s top fashion brands and popular restaurants have been operating at the airport.

Last month, the famous Singaporean restaurant Katong opened its first local outlet at the S2 terminal, showing the confidence of overseas investors in the airport, Yin said.

Additional promotion campaigns have been planned for the city’s Double Five Shopping Festival next month to further boost consumption at the airport, he added.

Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Yang Jian / SHINE

Long lines of departing domestic travelers.

Pudong airport handled the largest number of international passengers among domestic airports. It was also among the most severely hit by COVID-19, after most international flights were suspended to curb the spread of the virus.

The livestreaming event also promoted the Ramada Airport Hotel and the VIP lounges that attracted many overseas travelers ahead of the pandemic.

The four-star hotel, about 1.3 kilometers away from Pudong airport’s T1 and T2, has redecorated a dozen of its vacant rooms with popular cartoon characters to attract family customers on weekends and holidays.

Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Yang Jian / SHINE

A large number of domestic travelers arrive at Pudong airport.

A professional flight simulator of a Boeing 737 passenger aircraft has also been newly unveiled in the hotel’s lounge, a first for a domestic hotel.

“We used to mainly attract pilots and crew members of foreign airlines who cannot come now due to the COVID-19,” said the general manager of the hotel. 

Previously, more than 80 percent of its customers were the crews of foreign carriers who had to stay overnight at the airport.

“We had to change our strategy, instead of waiting for the restoration of international flights,” he said. 

By mid-May, about 15 rooms will redecorated with cartoon themes such as Paul Frank and Litter Yellow Duck. A new children’s playground has also opened at the business hotel.

Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Yang Jian / SHINE

A flight simulator at the Ramada Airport Hotel.

The VIP lounges at the airport have seen returning customers though global traveling is still at a standstill.

The lounges that used to mainly serve the first-class or gold card holders of airlines have opened to all travelers with admission tickets. A discounted admission to all the lounges operated by the airport authority at Pudong or Hongqiao airport costs 88 yuan during the livestreaming event.

The lounges feature Shanghai’s traditional dim sums and meals as well as local style decorations and services.

Each of the lounges at both airports are attracting over 1,000 customers every day, more than that of 2019. Half of them are economy-class travelers, said Sun Yuan, the marketing manager with the VIP service company of the airport authority.

Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Yang Jian / SHINE

A room at the airport hotel has been redecorated with the theme of Paul Frank to attract families on weekends.

Livestreaming at Pudong Airport boosts post COVID-19 volumes
Yang Jian / SHINE

The room is colorful and playful.

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