Major Chinese Airlines Expand International Routes
Airlines Routes

Major Chinese Airlines Expand International Routes

DALLAS – During the next six months, Air China (CA), China Southern Airlines (CZ), and China Eastern (MU) are expected to fly over 140 overseas routes.

Even though it is still behind pre-pandemic levels, Chinese regulators’ confidence in air travel is gradually increasing, according to the Chinese news outlet Global Times

Compared with the last six months, this is significant growth for Chinese commercial aviation.

We’ll take a look at the current and upcoming international routes for each airline.

Air China B-1466 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Ryan Scottini/Airways

Air China

Chinese flag carrier CA announced last Friday that it would operate 52 overseas routes with 132 flights per week. The Beijing-based carrier is adding new international routes from its base at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) to Johannesburg (JNB), Chongqing (CKG) to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), and Chongqing (CKG) to Budapest (BUD).

Air China’s expansion includes routes that were halted during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including from Beijing (PEK) to Singapore (SIN), Jakarta (CGK), Los Angeles (LAX), Vancouver (YVR), Toronto (YYZ), and others, and from Hangzhou (HGH) to Rome (FCO).

China Southern Airlines B-6139 Airbus A380-841. Photo: Simon Gloyn COX/Airways

China Southern Airlines

Guangzhou-based CZ, the largest of the three carriers mentioned in this article, has announced it will serve 47 overseas routes across 203 cities this winter and coming spring.

The resumption of CZ routes includes those from the carrier’s base at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) to New York (JFK), FCO, and Jakarta (CGK).

The carrier stated that 42 of the routes would be international routes, including those from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) to New York (JFK), Paris (CDG), Toronto (YYZ), Auckland (AUK), Sydney (SYD), and Frankfurt (FRA).

China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

China Eastern

Finally, Shanghai-based MU has stated that it will operate 108 weekly international flights for the season. This doubles the airline’s current number of 54 international flights. The Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) airline will resume flights from PVG to Bangkok (BKK), Hangzhou (HGH) to Tokyo (NRT), Qingdao (TAO) to Dubai (DXB), and Qingdao (TAO) to Seoul (ICN), and others. 

The rising number of overseas routes matched data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The data shows that during this winter/spring season, there will likely be 420 inbound/outbound international flights per week, which is still lower than in 2019.

In May, the Chinese State Council said it would increase the number of international and domestic flights on a regular basis. The following month, Chinese airlines restarted international routes.

As regulators relaxed restrictions for inbound flights, the CAAC said in July that China would increase international flights during the second half of 2022.

China Southern Airlines B-1297 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Max Langley/Airways

Joshua Kupietzky has a passion for aviation and deep expertise in the aviation industry. He’s been enamored with the facts and figures of the airline industry, and the details of the make and model of commercial aircraft for as long as he can remember. Based in Chicago, US.

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