US airlines want the US government to stop additional flights to and from China

Airlines for America Wants US to Block Additional Flights to and from China

The US aviation group Airlines for America asked the Biden administration to block additional flights to and from China. It says Beijing’s “existing harmful competitive policies” hurt American airlines and workers. 

In a letter published on Thursday signed by Airlines for America, “The competitive disadvantage is harmful to the approximately 315,000 workers employed by US passenger airlines that serve China.” 

Airlines for America includes American Airlines, Delta, and United, plus unions that represent aviation workers. 

It added, “If the growth of the Chinese aviation market is allowed to continue unchecked and without concern for equality of access in the market, flights will continue to be relinquished to Chinese carriers at the expense of US workers and businesses.”

Post-Pandemic Efforts 

In February, the US announced that it would allow Chinese airlines to have more flights to the United States to restore aviation services affected during the pandemic. The US government allowed Chinese airlines 50 weekly round trips to and from the US. That’s up from just 35 flights from March 31. 

However, this is nothing compared to more than 150 round weekly trips to and from China in early 2020. 

Airlines for America argues that China had strict limits during the pandemic that ultimately affected their operations. The letter also mentioned that the “anti-competitive disadvantage” with China picked up in 2022. China’s airlines had access to Russian airspace while US airlines didn’t have the same access as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Avoiding Russian airspace added both time and cost to US airlines. 

US airlines said, “These actions demonstrated the clear need for the US government to establish a policy that protects US aviation workers, industry and air travelers.”

Consensus Reached Between US and China

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that both US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping reached a consensus in November wherein having more flights “will help the two peoples strengthen exchanges and enhance mutual understanding.” 

Picture of John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.

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