Number of flights between US and China set to double following negotiations

United Airlines has continued its successful growth in 2023, continuing to outpace its main rivals
Abdul N Quraishi – Abs /

The number of flights between the United States (US) and China are set to double by the end of October 2023. The move comes after restrictions were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to an order by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) from September 1 both the US and China will be allowed to operate an extra six weekly round-trip flights.  

This will then increase to 24 flights for each country from October 29, 2023, split between American, Delta, and United and six Chinese carriers. The number of flights is currently limited to 12 flights a week for each nation.  

“The consistent engagement by USDOT and the State Department with Chinese officials made this important step forward possible. Our overriding goal is an improved environment wherein the carriers of both parties are able to exercise fully their bilateral rights to maintain a competitive balance and fair and equal opportunity among U.S. and Chinese air carriers,” the USDOT said. 

Following the announcement on August 11, 2023, United confirmed it will resume daily flying between San Francisco and Beijing this November and will increase flying to Shanghai with daily flights from San Francisco, starting October 1, 2023. 

The airline Said that the “enhancements to United’s Asia Pacific schedule are enabled by agreement between the governments of the US and China to increase flights between the two countries”. 

“We are grateful for this positive step forward in US – China passenger air services, and we thank the many officials from both countries who partnered to make this reinstatement of air service possible,” said Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United. “This announcement is good news for United customers because we believe that a daily flight to Beijing and a daily flight to Shanghai from San Francisco is consistent with the demand we see in the market right now – especially since our ability to serve China nonstop from our mid-continent hubs or the East Coast is severely limited by Russian overflight restrictions.” 

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