COVID-19: Braving the road to recovery

CT Ooi

Senior Director, International Flight Business, Trip.com Group

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This is the tenth blog in our COVID-19 series and the first where we hear directly from our customers about how they are navigating this difficult time.

The Chinese word for crisis is 危机. This is composed of separate characters representing ‘Danger’ and ‘Opportunity’. Here in China, we believe that in any adversity, there will be opportunities.

It is through adverse times such as these, that Trip.com’s investment in customer service stands out with our customers and also as the differentiating factor which sets us apart from competition and is much appreciated by airlines and our partners. We believe having our customer’s trust and confidence during this crisis is the key to emerging stronger than before, turning it into an opportunity for all.

With businesses re-opening and domestic travel restrictions being lifted, cities across China are finding their rhythm in regaining some normality. Right before the Labor Day holiday in early May, Beijing was the last city to lift a 14-day quarantine requirement for domestic inbound travel. This resulted in a fifteen-fold increase in flight searches. Although still conservatively lower than pre-COVID-19 days, this is a good sign. 

Family staycations in hotels were one of the earliest signs of recovery during the Labor Day May holiday. Food & Beverage outlets received increased reservations, as a much-deserved respite from months of home cooking. We now foresee domestic airline capacity returning to 70% by the fourth quarter of 2020.

Whilst most countries have extended their lockdowns and international travel restrictions, outbound travel recovery will come, albeit at a later phase. We are optimistic that it will recover. In the meantime, Trip.com is working closely with airlines to restore traveler confidence by monitoring and capturing blossoming demand to increase customer engagement.  

Navigating COVID-19 with our partners’ support

At Trip.com, we have been busy since the outbreak taking the time to elevate our product, services, and brand and, where possible, improve our technology. It’s important for us to navigate the crisis as quickly and efficiently as possible so not only our company, but also our customers can adapt to the circumstances and prepare for the future.

One of our key priorities is to track early signs of recovery, and Amadeus is working with our team of business analysts to develop research based on Amadeus Master Pricer search data in some of our priority Trip.com markets. Combined with Trip.com Group data, we can forecast demand trends, in line with Trip.com recovery program. This will ensure that Trip.com will be ready to provide our customers with the best travel options they desire.

Amadeus has been a strong partner through these challenging times, by supporting Trip.com with a dedicated team of customer support agents. The team provided tailored customer service trainings for our emergency customer service response team and helped process customers’ ticket refund requests and perform ticket refund transactions on behalf of Trip.com to ensure quicker turnaround times and support us in maintaining a level of customer service our customers have come to expect.

I would like to express my deep appreciation to Amadeus, and big thanks to the team in China on the support they provided during the peak of COVID-19. Our partnership with Amadeus is a strong one which will prevail through one of the most challenging times for our industry. 

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Amadeus' priorities remain ensuring the health and well-being of our employees and supporting our customers.

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Asia Pacific, COVID-19

This article is also available in these languages: Español, Français, Italiano