Back to normal? Airlines to relaunch Chinese operations

The air transport industry in China gradually steps towards normalization. 16.7 million passengers were transported by domestic carriers in April 2020, which increased the volume of passenger traffic by 3.9%, compared to the previous month. Meanwhile, international airlines are planning to add Chinese destinations soon. 

Visitors from abroad, who were banned from entering the country for two months, might be able to do that in June, as several carriers shared information about relaunching passenger flights to mainland China. 

Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and Qatar Airways reportedly expect to reinstate operations to major Chinese cities. Initially, they plan to serve two-three destinations to cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Qingdao. 

Resuming operations is on the agenda for international operators, despite Chinese travel restriction policy that is still valid. “We continue to workout the feasibility of restarting passenger service to China,” the U.S. carrier United told employees.

South Korean operator Asiana Airlines will reinstate 12 routes to China in June. Turkish Airlines is set to launch flights to Shanghai in June, adding Beijing and Guangzhou in July. Qatar expects to begin operating flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai starting from the end of June. 

In March, China set the regulations that limited international arrivals. According to the “Five One” rule, international operators were only allowed to have one flight to China per week. The country has not revealed any information about easing these requirements yet. 


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