A trusted source of Asia-Pacific commercial aviation news and analysis

MAY 2020

Week 22

Daily Update

Orient Aviation's COVID-19 briefs: Beijing relaxes rules for international flights; U.S. denies access to China carriers from June 16

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June 4th 2020

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  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) said overnight all scheduled passenger flights to the country operated by Chinese carriers would be suspended from June 16. The order said the decision was made in response to the failure of the Chinese government to permit U.S. carriers to fully exercise their bilateral rights to fly between China and the U.S. Read More » Four Chinese carriers – Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines – have nonstop flights between China and the U.S. Also, Chinese regulators have yet to approve applications from Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to restore passenger flights to the Mainland.
  • In the hours following the DoT order, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced it was relaxing its restrictions on international flights. The new regulations, published on the CAAC website today, will permit foreign airlines without flights to China to operate one flight a week from June 8.

    Airlines with scheduled passenger flights to China can increase frequencies to two flights a week if no passengers tested positive to the coronavirus for three consecutive weeks.

    However, if five passengers tested positive, the airline would be suspended from operating the route for one week with the suspension increasing to four weeks should 10 passengers test positive.
  • Australia’s Qantas Group said today its domestic capacity would reach about 15% of pre-coronavirus levels by the end of June, compared with about 5% in May. The 15% level represented an additional 300 return flights a week across Qantas and Jetstar operations in Australia, with additional flights "likely" for July depending on travel demand and any relaxation of interstate border closures, Qantas said in a statement.
  • Low-cost carrier (LCC), Tigerair Taiwan, said on its website yesterday nonstop flights from Taiwan to Macau, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand would remain suspended until August 31. The airline is operating one flight a week on two routes – Taipei Taoyuan-Tokyo Narita and Taipei Taoyuan-Osaka Kansai.
  • Garuda Indonesia's monthly traffic report, published this week, showed the airline carried 72,219 passengers in April, down 95.4% from the same month in 2019. Domestic travellers dropped 95.5%, to 54,015, and international passenger numbers fell 95.1% to 18,204. Yields declined 14.7% in the month and passenger load factor slipped 46 percentage points to 22.6%.
  • Air New Zealand transported 15,000 passengers in April, a 98.9% decline from 1.43 million passengers in the same month a year ago. The airline's monthly traffic report, released this week, said 9,000 passengers travelled on its domestic network in April, a 99.1% reduction from 941,000 in the prior corresponding period.

    Its domestic passenger load factor was 12.7%, a 75.5 percentage point reduction from 88.2% in the same month a year ago.
  • Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) director general, Subhas Menon, has welcomed the release of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidance on restarting air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic and added carriers in the region were ready to adapt to the new operating environment. "Asian airlines remain fully committed to working closely with government agencies, airports and other stakeholders to ensure air travel remained safe, secure and convenient,” Menon said this week.

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