After months of negotiations that began last fall, the United Kingdom and China agreed to raise the limits on international flights between the two countries, allowing more passengers and cargo to be transported to both markets.
Under the previous agreement, last updated in 2011, airlines in China and the UK were limited to a maximum of 31 trips per week in each direction and could only fly to six destinations in each country. With the most recent update, the limit has been raised to 40 direct flights per week each way. Also, UK carriers can now fly to nine Chinese cities and will have greater freedom to code-share with Chinese carriers on routes within mainland China.
Shortly after the announcement was made on Sept. 15, Air China said it will increase its daily service from London Heathrow Airport to Beijing to twice a day, using A330-200 aircraft. The expansion, scheduled to begin Oct. 24, will raise the number of Air China’s routes to Europe to 21, with destinations in 16 European cities.