U.S. Will Allow More Flights by Chinese Airlines

There are currently 12 roundtrip flights per week between the two countries on U.S.-based carriers — far fewer than before the pandemic.

Photo Credit: Mateusz for Adobe Stock

The Biden administration will let Chinese airlines add more flights to the U.S. to match the number of flights that China allows U.S. airlines to fly between the two nations.

The Transportation Department said it will let Chinese airlines increase from eight to 12 U.S.-China round trips per week. That is still a fraction of the flights that were allowed between the two countries before the pandemic.

In a filing Wednesday, the Transportation Department noted that it was acting in response to China's announcement in late December that it would lift certain restrictions on international passenger flights.

China's move allowed American Airlines to add two weekly flights in March between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Shanghai, raising the combined total of round trips between the countries by U.S. carriers to 12 per week.

China announced in March that after a three-year hiatus it was reopening its borders to revive tourism and boost its economy. China also relaxed visa rules to allow more outbound group tours by Chinese citizens.

American, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines operate flights to China. Chinese carriers currently flying between the two countries include Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing the major U.S. carriers, declined to comment.