United Airlines wants to make a strong return to China in June and will “pencil in” a relaunch of passenger service with four flights to three cities – Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai.
United did not specify how many times a week it would fly to China, but its plan is more ambitious than China presently allows.
China has implemented the so-called “Five One” rule for international passenger flights. That limits one airline to serving one country from one Chinese city to one foreign city with no more than one flight a week.
That would allow United to fly to mainland China once a week on only one route. Instead, United wants to fly four routes, three from San Francisco to Beijing Capital, Chengdu and Shanghai Pudong, and a fourth from Newark to Shanghai.
United has not detailed if passenger flights would be non-stop or transit in another country first.
China has not announced any loosening of the rule, but has made significant steps to recover from COVID-19.
Beijing has lifted its domestic quarantine and will no longer require visitors from elsewhere in the country to isolate for 14 days upon arrival to the capital. The rest of mainland China largely already has free movement.
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