China has introduced an online payment option for travellers with air tickets.
Air travellers can now pay for tickets with cash or credit cards and pay using a QR code, the country’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
Airline tickets will be sold by Air China, the largest airline in the country, for about 15 yuan ($1.32) per person per day for domestic air travel.
For flights to China’s far-flung regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, travellers will need to pay by cash or bank transfer for each flight.
Air China says the move will allow travellers to travel without paying for tickets online, without any delays.
But the airline has also said that the move could affect its air travel business, which depends heavily on overseas customers.
“The number of travellers who are not using their credit cards to pay for air tickets could impact the air service business and the economy of China,” a spokesperson for the airline told Bloomberg News on Wednesday.
China has a long-standing policy of restricting cash payments.
The government has previously banned people from using cash at all times, and it has not issued any restrictions on online payments since 2009.
In March, the government introduced a new payment method for people with tickets to China.
People with a credit card can now use cash to pay in yuan or other foreign currencies, and travel will be limited to a maximum of two hours a day.
For travellers who already pay by credit card, it will be easier to use their credit card than cash.
For travellers with a debit card, they can still pay with cash.
The airline said the new payment option will only be offered to travellers who buy tickets using their air tickets or hotel accommodation.
AirChina has been offering a cash payment option since 2011, but it has limited its use to certain destinations, such as airports and museums.