China To Ease Its Airline Route Allocation Policy

May 14, 2018

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China will relax from October this year its policy of allowing only one Chinese airline to operate on each international route.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced the revised policy on Monday as it seeks to better allocate international air navigation resources, it said in a statement.

The new policy focuses on “establishing a sound, open, fair and just international air traffic resource allocation,” CAAC said. China’s current policy on the allocation of international rights dates from 2009.

The regulator said it recognises that Chinese carriers are keen to add new international routes and that it also wants to promote Beijing’s new international airport, due to open next year. China Eastern and China Southern airlines are scheduled to operate major hubs at the new airport.

The country’s flag carrier Air China is the biggest airline customer at the city’s current major hub airport, Beijing Capital Airport.

The new policy divides international routes into two categories. The first category will have no restrictions and applies to routes where countries have an open skies agreement with China.

The second category is more restrictive and applies to all other routes. Destinations in this category include Africa, the Americas, Europe (except Russia), and Oceania. Some other shorter-haul international destinations are also included in the second category.