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P.M. BRIEFING : China Cuts Domestic Air Rates

<i> From Times wire services</i>

China’s airline administration said today it was cutting prices on 71 domestic routes by 20% through December in an effort to attract more passengers.

Ticket prices to Hong Kong and abroad will not be reduced, the official New China News Agency said, quoting the Civil Aviation Administration of China, which runs China’s regional and international airlines.

The announcement said only that the aim was to “lure more passengers.” It said the number of people flying on China’s airlines fell by half a million in June over the previous June, and that the number of foreign travelers was down 54% over the same period. It did not give the actual number of travelers.

More than 4.3 million tourists visited China in 1988 on organized tours alone, and millions more came individually. But tourism has virtually halted since the army crushed a student-led pro-democracy movement June 3-4.

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