China’s Airlines Begin Resuming International Services

Chinese airlines are looking to begin resuming services thanks to an improvement in the coronavirus situation within China. However, it is still a slow rollout and it may take months for the network of routes to return to normal.

Services are about to begin for Chinese airlines. Photo: Getty Images

What are the details?

According to a report by Flight Global, a few mainline carriers in China have revealed plans to start reopening closed routes.

These routes were shut down by the coronavirus and many have speculated that it might be months until services will resume. However, it seems that with the situation improving in China (the virus spread is slowing and the government is confident that its steps will contain the virus) airlines have started to make plans to resume routes.


“The novel coronavirus outbreak is under control and the general situation is improving after no new cases were registered in 14 of China’s 34 provinces and autonomous regions,” the country’s health commission deputy leader said Friday to Spanish publisher EFE. 


Now, we should stress that these are plans at this stage and the services are very much at the behest of not only the Chinese government but other nations that the routes will fly to. It is possible that the other nations that these airlines operate to might squash these plans before they can get off the ground (pun not intended).

The airlines in question that are making plans are:

  • Air China
  • China Eastern
  • Low-cost carrier Spring Airlines

Other Chinese airlines, such as China Southern and Hainan Airlines, have not yet revealed any restart plans.

Air China plans to fly to Germany by the end of the month. Photo: Getty Images

What routes will be restarted?

In terms of international routes, Air China intends to restart its Frankfurt to Chengdu route by February 28th whilst China Eastern will begin operation to two Myanmar cities, Yangon and Mandalay, by February 25th.

Both airlines also intend to slowly roll out up to 800 canceled domestic services to help link families and other trapped people around the nation.

These services are not at maximum capacity either. The Frankfurt route by Air China normally operates three times a week but will only begin with two smaller A330-200s twice a week from the 29th. The carrier also served many other international cities from its hub in Chengdu, such as Paris and Sydney, but has not made any plans to restart those services.

China’s aviation industry has felt the full impact of the coronavirus, with up to 80% of all international flights affected, particularly to close neighbors like Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Philipines, Japan and the recently banned South Korea.

China coronavirus
The coronavirus has been responsible for knocking out 80% of China’s flights. Photo: Getty Images

Why are they restarting routes?

For one, we should be welcoming the news that things are starting to return to normal. The airlines are confident that the spread of the virus is slowing down and that they won’t be facilitating any more outbreaks with their services.

Additionally, China wants to restore confidence in its country and knows that every day that passes that the coronavirus blocks flights, their international reputation decreases (as well as the revenue for millions of people within and outside of China).

It is notable that the first services that are being started are to Myanmar, a country that is well within the sphere of influence of China. Likely they are a ‘safe bet’ and will gladly be happy to receive Chinese visitors to get into their good graces. It remains to be seen if these flights go ahead.

What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments.


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Respiratory viruses (cold and influenza) go dormant in May in the Northern Hemisphere. If Covid-19 spreads to the Southern Hemisphere, there could be a global pandemic next November.


From a UK newspaper this morning: “death toll rises in Europe and outbreak approaches pandemic tipping point”

Large 100+ group of folks with it in Italy (Milan area)

Chinese Airlines, what countries are going to let you fly into their airports? Who is going to travel to China? It’s a one way trip, because you may be stuck there.

In addition to killing a lot of people, this will b**w up the entire regional economy. My company has suspended all travel to the region until 2021.

Chinese companies are hurting, but 3-6 months out before people want to start moving. Freight might start moving first.

Covid-19 is in Malaysia and Singapore, warm weather doesn’t seem to help China’s most significant export this year is corona-virus, probably spread via air travel.

High Mile Club

China’s reputation took a hit not from the fact flights had to be cancelled, but because they tried to hide the fact a virus got out of their level 4 biotics lab, and silenced anyone who could’ve warned everyone. Had they been up front with it, we wouldn’t have 2000+ people getting cremated right now, with possibly 100,000 cases ongoing.


I am still leery about travel to Asia especially China. My family was planning a trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong (Disney) trips this spring, but we cancelled due to fears that we may not be able to leave should another wave of infections start in other parts of China…

Dr Hollington Y Tong DPM

Before flights are started please have charcoal air filters replaced on all flights.
I tweeted President Trump and he had fit when he found out both infected and non infected passengers were on the same flight from Yokohama. CDC is saying it may take 24 days before any symptoms appear so is infectious

John Smith

Flights from China to Thailand are still mostly operating as normal, as Thailand has refused to put any restrictions on flights or Chinese citizens in place, unlike many others in both the region and internationally. However, some service reductions have occurred due to lower travel demand. Surprisingly, Myanmar has stopped visas on arrival for Chinese citizens but Thailand hasn’t. However, the Myanmar e-visa is still available to Chinese citizens – besides, it’s more convenient than the visa on arrival anyway. I suspect there is a tussle between the western backed Aung San Suu Kyi and the traditionally more China friendly military elements.