Air traffic: France limits Chinese companies to one weekly flight

Chinese companies can now only charter more than one flight per week to France, in the name of “reciprocity” vis-à-vis Air France.

Air China

France now limits to a single weekly flight the service of its territory by Chinese airlines, in the name of “reciprocity” vis-à-vis Air France, we learned Monday from the embassy of France in Beijing.

China, the first country affected by Covid-19, drastically reduced its links with the rest of the world at the end of March for fear of further contamination.

However, since June 8, the country has allowed several foreign companies, including Air France, to provide one connection per week from and to its territory.

On the other hand, the three main Chinese companies (Air China, China Eastern, China Southern) could so far each make a weekly China-France flight – that is to say three in total.

The French authorities are seeking to guarantee the same rights for Air France, with three weekly connections with China.

From now on, and “in the absence of progress (…), we have applied strict reciprocity since last Friday,” assured the French Embassy in Beijing. This decision was notified by the French Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), according to a source familiar with the matter. “As of July 13, China and France have each decided to provide one flight per week between China and France,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry simply responded in a statement to AFP. Concretely, this amounts to eliminating two flights per week for Chinese companies.

China Southern and China Eastern flights scheduled this week to France have been canceled, according to schedules published online. An Air China Beijing-Paris flight was still announced for Monday. The weekly flight operated by a Chinese company will now alternate between Air China, China Eastern and China Southern.

In early June, China announced a very limited resumption of international flights, after a threat from Washington to suspend flights of Chinese companies to the United States. In fact, foreign companies must first obtain the green light from the city of arrival, which complicates the procedures.

(With AFP)