Chinese Airlines Approved to Increase Weekly Flights to US

Reuters reports that Chinese airlines have received authorization to augment the number of weekly outbound flights to the United States from 35 to 50, effective March 31.  

The approval "is a significant step toward further normalization of the U.S.-China market in anticipation of the summer 2024 traffic season," according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).  

Airlines for America (A4A) endorsed the "policies of the United States government to reopen the market with China in a phased, reciprocal, and incremental manner."  

"The U.S. government must maintain this approach at all times," the organization continued. A4A signifies the combined 31 weekly flights of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines to China.  

Despite this reduction, the number of weekly roundtrip passenger flights remains considerably lower at 50 compared to the over 150 that were permitted prior to the restrictions imposed in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from which the nation is still recuperating.  

Chinese and American airlines were each limited to twelve round-trip flights per week between the two countries until August of last year. This number increased to thirty-five in November, from twenty-four on October 29 and thirty-eight on September 1.  

Positive progress has been made toward increasing direct passenger flights between China and the United States," the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C.  

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) projected earlier this year that by the end of 2024, international flights to and from the country would have returned to pre-COVID levels at an intensity of 80%.