DALLAS – Following the relaxation of Covid restrictions by the Chinese Government, Air China (CA) and Hainan Airlines (HU) have announced plans to expand their schedules between China and the United States. On January 4, 2022, in a regulatory filing with the US Department of Transportation, both carriers submitted new US schedules.
CA will increase the number of flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Beijing (PEK) starting on January 8. That is the same date that the Chinese Government will stop quarantine rules and almost all travel restrictions. At the end of January, the Beijing-based carrier will return to a daily service between LAX and PEK.
Additionally, CA will resume service between PEK and New York (JFK) on January 18. On March 1, the airline will also resume its four-times-weekly flights between PEK and San Francisco. Lastly, the carrier will restart service between PEK and Washington Dulles on March 2, which will operate three times per week.
Hainan will be resuming flights between Boston Logan (BOS) and Seattle Tacoma (SEA), PEK and flights to Chongqing (CKG) and Shanghai (PVG) on February 17. The Haikou-based carrier will resume most of its pre-pandemic routes to the United States.
US Legacy Caution
At the same time, US legacy carriers who fly to China do not plan to expand their services. United Airlines (UA) operates four weekly flights between San Francisco (SFO) and Shanghai (PVG) via Seoul (ICN). The airline states that it is “currently evaluating the market demand and operating environment to determine when it’s right for us to resume additional flight operations to mainland China.” Delta (DL), which previously operated flights to mainland China from LAX, Detroit (DTW), Atlanta (ATL), and SEA, did not comment if it would resume these services following China opening its borders.
On December 26, the Chinese Government announced it would drop COVID-19 measures, which have been mandated since 2020. China’s opening comes as many North Asian countries reopened their borders in 2022, such as Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Featured Image: Hainan Airlines Airbus A330-200 (B-6116). Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways.