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U.S.-China Flights to Increase to 70 Round Trips Weekly
A round up of the latest Chinese airline filings with a few scheduling quirks.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) recently approved increasing the weekly frequency of U.S.-China flights by Chinese carriers to 35 on October 26. The latest update means the total flights between the U.S. and China will grow to 70 per week based on the bilateral agreements. The new cap will take effect on November 9.
Chinese Carriers have started submitting proposals for the winter season.
The national flag carrier currently operates eight weekly flights between the U.S. and China. All its Beijing-originated flights will depart from Beijing Capital International Airport.
- Beijing to Los Angeles – twice weekly
- Beijing to New York JFK, New York JFK to Los Angeles, then Beijing – three times weekly
- Beijing to San Francisco – twice weekly
- Shenzhen to Los Angeles – once weekly
In its latest application, the airline is adding yet another circle route.
- Beijing to Washington Dulles and returning via Los Angeles twice weekly on Tuesday and Saturday
- An additional Thursday from Beijing to Los Angeles
The present schedule plus the proposed flights will mount to eight weekly flights from Los Angeles to Beijing. The Beijing-based carrier has a total of 11 weekly flights planned for the winter season.
China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern operates the second most flights of any Chinese carrier. It operates seven weekly flights to various U.S. gateways from Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
- Shanghai to Los Angeles – thrice weekly
- Shanghai to New York JFK – twice weekly
- Shanghai to San Francisco – twice weekly
It intends to increase frequency on the Los Angeles route, according to its filing.
- Two additional Shanghai to Los Angeles flights on Mondays and Saturdays
The Shanghai-based carrier will operate a total of nine flights if approved by the DOT.
China Southern Airlines
China Southern has six weekly frequencies approved under the current regulation.
- Guangzhou to Los Angeles – four times weekly
- Guangzhou to New York JFK – once weekly
- Wuhan to San Francisco – once weekly
The Guangzhou-based carrier plans to add one additional flight in its application.
- An additional Wuhan to San Francisco on Thursdays
The carrier will operate a total of seven flights if approved by the department.
Hainan Airlines has undoubtedly been anxious about restarting its U.S. routes. It had applied for twelve weekly frequencies in the last application cycle but was granted none of its proposed routes. It had only proposed one route with a limited frequency in hopes of a better chance for approval this time.
- Beijing Capital to Boston – three times weekly
Interestingly, the application stated the return flight will have a technical stop in Seattle. Its previous schedules did not include a technical stop for the Boston flight. It’s unclear what caused the addition of a tech stop or if the Haikou, China-based airline will follow Air China’s footsteps and apply for an exemption to tag along traffic from Seattle to Beijing.
Other Chinese Airlines
Xiamen Airlines currently operates three times weekly between Xiamen and Los Angeles. It has yet to file for new routes at the time of writing. The last two airlines authorized to fly to the U.S. are Beijing Capital Airlines and Sichuan Airlines. Neither has filed to restart U.S. service for recent rounds of bidding.
As it stands, the proposed schedule will fill 33 of the 35 slots.
Editor’s Note: AirlineGeeks will update the post as more details enter the docket before November 9.
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