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United, Delta Cleared to Resume Flights to China Twice a Week

United Airlines Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. received approval from the Shanghai government to resume flights to China after months of suspension amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two American airlines were cleared to operate two flights a week, Caixin confirmed with multiple sources. United Airlines will resume two flights a week from San Francisco to Shanghai starting July 6, and Delta will operate two flights a week from Seattle to Shanghai, according to confirmation letters issued by the Shanghai government.

Delta originally planned to start the flights Thursday, but the preparation time is too short and now it’s applying for the first flight to take place June 27, an insider from the airline said.

Sources close to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) told Caixin that the total of flights between China and America will double to eight a week.

The background: Before the pandemic, Chinese and U.S. airlines operated about 300 weekly round-trip scheduled passenger flights between the two countries. Since late March, that’s been slashed to fewer than a dozen.

U.S. carriers, which halted passenger flights to China and flew only cargo services since February, are longing to boost their revenue by resuming the more profitable passenger flights.

As part of measures to prevent imported infections, Chinese civil aviation regulators in May introduced the so-called Phase Five policy, limiting airlines to one international flight a week between China and any other country.

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