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Ticket discounts shrink

Most domestic airlines began using a new ticket-pricing system yesterday in which passengers will now face smaller discounts on domestic fares than previously.

China Travelsky Holding Company, which runs the system covering most of China's air carriers, launched a new formula on ticket prices yesterday.

Under the new system, an original discount will be reduced by 1.25 times. For example, 20-percent discount will become a 16-percent discount and 30-percent discount will be cut to 24 percent.

Passengers will only know the latest ticket price under the new system which is used in overseas markets.

A marketing official of China Eastern Airlines said the new system is a step closer to the international ticket-pricing method and carriers will still adjust prices in line with demand.

But analysts said passengers need not fret as carriers still need to consider passenger traffic, capacity, operating environment and costs when setting prices, so they will still offer lower-priced tickets when the demand is low.

Tour agencies said although travel packages during the May Day holiday will rise by at least 10 percent over last year's prices for the same period, response from the market to the price adjustment has been quite muted.


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