DOT Reaches Agreement to Increase Chinese Flights, Ease Restrictions

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters yesterday announced a new agreement with Chinese Minister of Civil Aviation Yang Yuanyuan to double the number of passenger flights by 2012 and ease most restrictions on cargo flights between the two countries by 2011 during the Strategic Economic Dialogue hosted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

"Piece by piece, we are making it easier, cheaper, and more convenient to fly people and ship goods between our two countries," Peters said. "We both understand that the path to friendship and cooperation is paved with easy access and close connections."

Peters traveled to China in April to continue talks on the previous civil aviation agreement, in place since 2004, and discuss a framework to increase future air passenger and cargo travel between the two countries.

Starting this year, Peters said, the new agreement will allow for 13 new daily flights operated by U.S. carriers to and from China within five years. One new daily flight will be added in 2007 and 2008, four new daily flights in 2009, three more daily flights in 2010, and two new daily flights in 2011 and 2012. Under the current agreement, U.S. airlines currently can operate only 10 daily flights into Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

In addition, this agreement will allow the U.S. to designate three additional U.S. carriers to operate to China, one in 2007 and two in 2009. The deal also will provide U.S. cargo carriers with virtually unfettered access to Chinese markets by lifting all government-set limits on the number of cargo flights and cargo carriers serving the two countries by 2011, Secretary Peters added.

For more information, visit www.dot.gov.

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