China's CAAC Requiring Monthly International Schedule Applications

China Southern

Credit: Nigel Howarth/Aviation Week

China Southern is China's only A380 operator. However, the carrier believes that the aircraft may not be a viable long-term option.

BEIJING—The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is requiring airlines, both Chinese and foreign, to apply for approval of their schedules for international flights from month to month.

Furthermore, the CAAC has forbidden the sale of tickets for international flights that have not been approved.

International flight schedules for June and July must be submitted for approval in May, the agency said. It will require applications for the August schedule in June and for the September schedule in July.

In adopting this policy, and the supplementary limitation on bookings, the CAAC intends to avoid a need for any large-scale cancellations of tickets, several Chinese industry sources said. In particular, foreign airlines have been selling tickets for flights that they cannot be sure of operating, the sources said.

The CAAC started limiting each airline’s international passenger capacity to and from China on March 19 amid the coronavirus outbreak, when it said a carrier could change its schedule to offer fewer seats but not more.

A further CAAC restriction says that each foreign country can only have one passenger flight a week to China operated by one airline from that country. Each Chinese airline can fly no more than once a week to each foreign country.

—Research by Ryan Wang

Bradley Perrett

Bradley Perrett covered China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. He is a Mandarin-speaking Australian.