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U.S.-China Air Traffic to Expand

June 19, 2004|From Reuters

The United States and China have reached an agreement to significantly expand commercial and cargo air traffic between the two countries, the Transportation Department said Friday.

The pact calls for adding 195 weekly flights for each nation over six years, including 14 new U.S. passenger flights this year. There currently are 54 weekly flights for each country.

Of the new flights, 111 will be for all-cargo carriers, with the remainder for passenger traffic. U.S. cargo haulers FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. already serve that route, as do U.S. passenger carriers United Airlines, owned by UAL Corp., and Northwest Airlines Corp.

"This agreement recognizes the critical role of commercial aviation in the rapidly growing U.S.-China trade relationship," Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said.

The accord will permit carriers to fly to any city in the other country and allow unlimited code-sharing between U.S. and Chinese airlines. Previously, U.S. carriers were restricted to flying to five Chinese cities and the Chinese could fly to 12 U.S. cities.

The pact also allows the U.S. to add one all-cargo carrier and China to add either a cargo or passenger carrier this year.

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