The United States will allow Chinese airlines to increase U.S. passenger services to 12 weekly round-trips, the Transportation Department (USDOT) said on Wednesday, equal to the number of flights Beijing has permitted for American carriers.
It is a boost from the eight weekly round-trip flights currently allowed by Chinese carriers and matches what Beijing has permitted for U.S. carriers, but a small fraction of the more than 150 round-trip flights allowed by each side before restrictions were imposed in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
USDOT's order said its goal was "a gradual, broader reopening of the U.S.-China air services market." China in March reopened its borders to foreign tourists for the first time in the three years after abandoning COVID-related border controls for its own citizens in January.
U.S. carriers American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines operate scheduled passenger services between the countries, as do Chinese operators Xiamen Airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.
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