Chinese Airlines Allowed to Increase US Flights to 50 per Week – Airways | Airlines

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DALLAS — According to the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT), Chinese passenger airlines can increase their weekly round-trip flights to the US from 35 to 50 (42.86%) starting on March 31.

This decision brings the market back to nearly one-third of pre-pandemic levels. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese and U.S. carriers could operate more than 150 weekly round-trip passenger flights between the two countries.

A report from Reuters‘ David Shepardson, who first broke the news, recalls how, from August 2023 until now, each side was limited to only 12 weekly flights. The number of flights gradually increased to 18 on September 1, 2023, and then to 24 per week starting October 29, 2023. In November 2023, the U.S. Transportation Department approved 35 weekly round-trip flights for Chinese carriers.

Airlines for America (A4A), representing the three biggest international US airlines operating 31 weekly flights to China, expressed support for the U.S. government’s gradual reopening of the market with the Asian giant.

The report also mentions that the Chinese embassy in Washington also welcomed the positive progress in increasing direct passenger flights between China and the U.S. They stated that they are working to facilitate cross-border travel further and promote people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

China Eastern Airlines B-7343 Boeing 777-300(ER). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

A Return to Normalcy

In August 2022, amidst a dispute over COVID-19 restrictions, the US government halted 26 flights by Chinese airlines from the United States to China following Beijing’s suspension of flights by US carriers.

The Department of Transportation (DoT) complained to Beijing, alleging a breach of an air transport agreement and unfair treatment of US airlines for requiring them to cancel flights due to positive COVID-19 tests among travelers. Seven flights by Air China (CA) from New York City and a total of 19 flights by…

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