The Department of Transportation has issued an order to allow the four Chinese airlines currently performing scheduled passenger services to the United States to increase their services to eight weekly round-trip flights.
This aggregate level of service is equivalent to the total number of flights now permitted by the Chinese aviation authorities for U.S. carriers. As of August 12, the two U.S. carriers currently operating scheduled passenger service in the U.S.-China passenger market, United Airlines (“United”) and Delta Air Lines (“Delta”), had qualified for additional flight frequencies pursuant to the terms of the Civil Aviation Authority of China (“CAAC”) Notice of March 26, 2020. Accordingly, United and Delta are now eligible to increase their respective frequency of service from two-times weekly to four-times weekly, and the relevant Chinese authorities granted the necessary operating permissions on August 17, 2020.
CAAC further informed the Department of Transportation that the four Chinese carriers currently providing scheduled passenger service to the United States have likewise qualified to increase their respective frequency of service from one-time weekly to two-times weekly. Accordingly, the Department’s order will modify the previous decisions made in June to enable those qualified Chinese carriers to increase services to the United States, as China has permitted for U.S. carriers.
The order also indicates the Department’s willingness to further revisit its action should the Chinese aviation authorities adjust their policies to bring about the necessary improved situation for U.S. carriers in which both they and the Chinese carriers could fully exercise their bilateral rights.
The order can be found at www.regulations.gov, by searching “Docket DOT-OST-2020-0052.”