The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has issued new operating restrictions to Chinese and foreign airlines, limiting their operations on international routes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 per the requirements of the State Council.

According to the newly issued requirements, Chinese airlines are only allowed to operate one route to any specific country with only one weekly flight.

For airlines that are registered outside China, new CAAC regulations allow only one route with one weekly frequency.

While the international capacity in and out of the country will be significantly reduced, the governing body allows airlines to retain operating permits and take-off and landing slots. 

Furthermore, flights from and to China cannot have a higher load factor than 75%, indicated CAAC.

Airlines are still permitted to fly passenger aircraft without any passengers and only cargo onboard. Cargo flights will not limit the amount of passenger flights an airline can conduct.

The measures are to be implemented with immediate effect, with adjusted flight plans to be submitted by airlines by March 29, 2020.

All carriers have to abide by the guidelines, issued by the Office of China Civil Aviation Prevention and Control COVID-19 Leading Group, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, stated the press release issued by CAAC. 

“CAAC may issue a policy to further reduce the total number of international passenger flights. Airlines, therefore, are required to closely follow information released, analyze the situation and make contingency plans in advance,” noted the aviation administration.

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