Air blue seats sold out at most airports in China for the second straight month, leaving airlines with limited options for their domestic passengers as they try to get enough inventory for their global flights.
AirBlue, the largest domestic carrier in the world, said it was unable to get a sufficient amount of seats for domestic flights from its domestic operations in Shanghai to Beijing and Hong Kong because of a shortage of airblue tickets for the Chinese New Year holiday.
It said about 90% of seats in Shanghai were sold out of air blue seats and that its domestic ticketing system could not process orders for more than 30% of the tickets.
The company said it will not be able to ship the remaining seats from Shanghai to other locations in China because there are not enough seats to meet demand.
Air Blue, which is based in the United States, has struggled to fill seats at its domestic hub in Shanghai because the Chinese government has cut off the ability to buy tickets for China’s Lunar New Year.
The airline had about 5,000 seats at the time of the holiday in 2015.
Air China, the company’s sister airline, said the same thing and said its domestic network was unable “to process orders at all” for more airblue seats than it could sell them for.
The company said on its website that it was preparing to “rescue the situation at some point,” but did not elaborate on how.
In January, Air China ordered the cancellation of air tickets for New Year’s Day flights between Beijing and Shanghai after China’s government suspended its ability to issue airline tickets to tourists and other travelers.
Air Canada and the Hong Kong government have also cancelled air tickets, citing the government’s restrictions on foreign visitors.
In February, Air India announced it would cancel its flights from Delhi to New Delhi because of the government shutdown.
Airline stocks tumbled as investors feared Beijing could cut off international air travel for domestic travel as a result of a clampdown on domestic travel.
The government has also restricted travel by U.S. citizens and citizens of seven other countries: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea and Syria.
China is also barring American travelers from leaving the country and imposing travel bans on Chinese citizens and residents.