The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said international flights in and out of China will increase by 50 percent after its new operating plan kicks in, which will loosen international flight restrictions by allowing all qualified foreign airlines to resume services to China from Monday.
It is estimated that, given the experience of actual flight operations since March 26, the de facto weekly flight total after the new rule kicks in would be 150, with an increase of 50 flights.
Weekly arrivals via air will average 33,000 people, with a daily average of 4,700.
The civil aviation regulator said that foreign airlines newly permitted to resume flights to the mainland must observe strict rules to prevent COVID-19 infections and an overall appraisal will be conducted to gauge the feasibility of adding flights after four weeks.
The CAAC said it expected a maximum of 44 flights will be added by 44 airlines from 23 countries and regions that maintain air links with China.
For 20 airlines from 16 countries that will resume air links with China after the new rule, the maximum weekly increase will be about 20 flights. Those 16 countries include Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Mexico, Switzerland, Iran and Vietnam.
The authority added, however, that air link capacity can be extended under four preconditions. These preconditions may apply to countries with strong economic bonds with China and those that have caused fewer imported infections, or those with a large number of Chinese citizens who need to return home.
Countries that can maintain a high standard of epidemic prevention and control precautions and those that already had a fast track mechanism in place with China with a strong need for work and production resumption can also seek additional flights from and to China.
Chinese civil aviation experts pointed out Singapore, the US and South Korea may fall into these categories.