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Chinese airlines begin resuming international routes after Covid closures

Shanghai, China, Oct 20 (EFE).- China Southern, one of the country’s major carriers, resumed international flights on Thursday as more airlines plan to reopen foreign routes in the coming days with the country moving to relax travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

China Southern began its international operations with a new flight from the northeastern city of Shenyang to Seoul.

The government has called for an “orderly increase in the number of domestic and international flights, while taking convenience measures for the travel of foreign company staffers.”

China’s civil aviation regulator has said it would be negotiating with other countries to increase the number of international flights.

The regulator has promised to add more international routes to meet the demand of overseas Chinese students and other groups of people who need to leave or return to China.

Following the announcements, the three largest airlines – China Eastern, China Southern, and Air China, along with some other domestic carriers, announced plans for the upcoming winter-spring aviation season that begins Oct.30.

China Southern has said it would restore or increase the frequency of flights between Guangzhou and Jakarta, Tokyo, Dubai, Manila, Bangkok, and Phnom Penh.

The number of international flights will rise to 86 from 71 during the new flight season.

Air China will also resume routes between Beijing and major international destinations like Warsaw, Athens, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

Spring Airlines, the biggest budget carrier in the country, will restore its short-haul overseas services to Hong Kong, Macau, Osaka, Tokyo, Seoul, and Bangkok.

China’s official media has highlighted a relative recovery in demand, with 21 percent more flights between China and abroad between October 1 and 14 compared to the first two weeks of September.

However, the volume of international routes from China is still only 4 to 5 percent, compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic time.

China almost completely sealed its borders in March 2020. EFE


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