More international flights expected to return as curbs, COVID curbs adjusted

More international flights expected to return as curbs, COVID curbs adjusted

China's three major airlines said more international flights are expected to return as travel curbs and COVID 19 prevention protocols are adjusted.

From October 30 to March 25, Air China will offer 52 international routes while China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines will each offer 42.

Air China will carry 132 international flights every week, resuming air routes such as Beijing-Singapore, Hangzhou-Rome and Chongqing-Dubai.

The company will be able to provide new international air routes including Beijing-Johannesburg -- Chengdu, Chongqing-Budapest and Chongqing-Ho Chi Minh City.

Although COVID 19 outbreaks still affect the passenger market in various regions, tailored prevention measures have reduced the negative effects on travel and resulted in an increasing number of passengers adapting to travel under epidemic prevention protocols, said Huang Bin from Air China's senior management team.

More people will be willing to travel by air, as epidemic control policies continue to be optimized, and market confidence is recovering, he said.

According to Chen Weihua, chief legal counsel at China Southern Airlines, more new international air routes have been added from Guangzhou to Europe and Southeast Asia. The next step is to add more routes from Guangzhou to North America.

Li Yangmin, general manager of China Eastern Airlines, said the recently upgraded epidemic prevention measures are good news for the resumption of the civil aviation sector.

The 'circuit breaker' mechanism will be abolished, and there will be direct economic benefits for companies. He said that the simpler inspection, optimized epidemic control standard and shortened quarantine time will reduce travel uncertainty and boost the sector's resumption.

This month, China rolled out 20 measures to improve epidemic control, including the cancellation of carriers for two weeks if five or more passengers tested positive upon landing in China, or four weeks if 10 or more passengers tested positive.

Inbound travelers are put under a shorter quarantine and simpler inspection.

The measures reduce COVID 19 quarantines for incoming travelers and close contacts from 10 to eight days, and inbound travelers will be asked to provide one negative test result instead of two from nucleic acid testing conducted no more than 48 hours before boarding.

More international flights will be arranged with 840 inbound and outbound flights per week, more than double the same period last year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.