US - China To Boost Air Travel By Increasing Weekly Fights to 70

In a significant move towards restoring pre-pandemic air travel, the United States and China have agreed to increase the number of weekly flights between the two countries from 48 to 70 starting next month.


A Gradual Reopening

This decision is part of ongoing efforts by both nations to gradually lift the limits on services that were imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased flight slots will be divided between three US carriers and six China-based carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air China, and China Eastern Airlines. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is actively communicating and seeking ongoing dialogue with the Civil Aviation Administration of China to facilitate a broader reopening of the U.S.-China air services market.


The Impact

The increase in flights comes at a time when both countries are eager to expand flight operations following the COVID-19 pandemic. This move is expected to provide a significant boost to the aviation industry, which has been severely impacted by travel restrictions over the past few years. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and before flight limits were imposed between the two countries, the United States and China had over 340 flights per week. The current lack of flights has caused ticket prices for these services to remain extremely high when compared to pre-pandemic pricing.


Looking Ahead

As part of this agreement, airlines such as Air China and United Airlines are seeking permission to begin new routes. For instance, Air China is looking to start a weekly flight between Beijing Capital International Airport (PKX) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), while United Airlines aims to resume flights to Beijing and begin a new daily service to Shanghai. This development marks a significant step towards restoring normalcy in international air travel. It also underscores the importance of international cooperation in reviving industries impacted by the global pandemic.

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