Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation made a groundbreaking decision; from September 1, Chinese airlines will be allowed to operate 18 direct flights between China and the United States each week.
Furthermore, from October 29, this number will surge to 24 weekly direct flights, effectively doubling the capacity of flights between the two nations.
Below is a table of current China-US flight services, with 16 flights operated by Chinese airlines and 12 flights operated by U.S. airlines.
Current China-US flight services, dated August 23, 2023. Chart by That's
This news follows China's recent move to boost international tourism by lifting pandemic-related restrictions on group travel to more than 70 countries, including key markets like the United States.
Upon hearing the announcement, airlines from both nations wasted no time in rolling out their plans for increased services.
Delta Air Lines unveiled its plan to enhance its China-US flight services by increasing the frequency of departures from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to destinations in the United States, such as Seattle and Detroit, resulting in a total of 10 weekly flights.
Starting October 30, Delta's route from Shanghai Pudong to Seattle will be upgraded to a daily service, while the Shanghai Pudong to Detroit route will see three flights per week.
Notably, Delta plans to revive its suspended Shanghai Pudong to Los Angeles route, projected to recommence in March 2024 with a four-times-weekly frequency.
According to Delta, the current cooperation with China Eastern Airlines encompasses over 260 codeshare flights per week, offering passengers greater travel choices and a more seamless travel experience.
American Airlines and United Airlines have also unveiled their plans for increased China-US flights.
United Airlines is set to resume its San Francisco-Shanghai daily service from October 1, 2023 and to reinstate its San Francisco-Beijing daily service from November 1, 2023.
In the upcoming year, American Airlines will inaugurate daily flights between Shanghai Pudong and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with its AA127/128 route.
As the aviation industry gears up for these intensified routes, travelers on both sides of the Pacific can anticipate more frequent and convenient connections.
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[Cover image by Billy Jiang/That's]