China to change long-haul international route policy

Updated 2018-05-17 18:00:01 Ecns.cn

(ECNS) - China will change its "one long-haul international route, one airline" policy in a move expected to reduce air ticket prices and increase competition, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The administration's latest amendment on the use of international air traffic rights said new approaches will be adopted to manage long-distance international routes, which will be divided into two categories.

The first type of routes are flights between China and destination countries with an open air transport agreement. There will be no limit on the number of carriers and flights on that kind of route.

One more carrier will be allowed to fly on second-type routes -- flights between China and destination countries (including those in America, Europe, Oceania, and Africa) with limited agreements, to phase in competition.

"Previous studies show that dramatic opening would lead to vicious competition," it was added.

The administration said the move is designed to adapt to new developments in China's aviation industry, meet diversified transport requirements, encourage proper competition, and give full play to the role of Beijing's newly built airport.

Li Xiaojin, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China, said China introduced the "one long-haul international route, one airline" policy in the past to prevent airlines from competing too aggressively, but that the restriction also led to higher ticket prices.

He added the new policy will open the market further and allow passengers to enjoy better services and low prices.

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