German, French airlines to fly more often to China
Published: Jul 17, 2020 06:45 PM

A Lufthansa plane. Photo: VCG

Overseas airlines such as Lufthansa and Air France have been allowed more flights to China from one flight initially set by the Chinese civil aviation regulator. 

Lufthansa said on Friday that it will add a second weekly flight between Shanghai and Frankfurt starting July 27, up from its two current flights from Frankfurt to Nanjing and Shanghai. 

Lufthansa restarted the Frankfurt-Shanghai route in June; then, from July 6, it resumed its second flight, between Frankfurt and Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province. 

China has also approved a second flight for Air France from Paris to Shanghai starting next week, the French Embassy in China said on Thursday.

So far, major airlines from Germany, France and the US can fly more than once to China a week.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in March announced it would restrict international flights to China to one per country to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"The Five-One policy is still in operation. However, it is making gradual adjustments based on the situation," a market insider, Qin Lin, told the Global Times on Friday. 

Information provider VariFlight showed that from July 10 to July 16, Shanghai Pudong International Airport welcomed 40 inbound flights, including five domestic airlines and 10 from overseas, of which United Airlines and Delta Air Lines operated the most flights.

More airlines will be flying into Shanghai, such as Virgin Atlantic, which announced it will resume passenger flights starting July 20, and its first flight from London to Shanghai will start on August 4.

Although the flight volume is still less than the same period last year, an airport insider told the Global Times Friday that the pressure comes from inspection and quarantine.

To divert passenger pressure from Shanghai, the CAAC has arranged for a number of other cities to receive passengers. 

Qatar Airways said on Friday that it will resume its Guangzhou and Doha passenger flights starting July 26, one of the most recent overseas carriers to resume flights to China.

On Thursday night, Emirates announced that it will resume weekly Dubai flights to and from Guangzhou starting July 25 using the Boeing 777-300ER. Turkish Airlines, Iranian Mahan Air and Egypt Airlines are all expected to fly into Guangzhou.

Airlines from South Korea are enjoying up to 10 flights a week. 

The CAAC said last month countries that have close economic ties with China and have an urgent need to send personnel to China for work have already established "green channels" for business travel to China, and high numbers of stranded Chinese nationals are now allowed on more flights to and from China.