FlightAware flight tracking records show that Washington’s newly approved Chinese airline flights bypassed Russian airspace, Reuters reported on Friday.
The U.S. Department of Transportation approved the airline in May China to increase the number of round-trip passenger flights from eight to twelve weekly. According to the FlightAware portal, flights of carriers from the Middle Kingdom on four new routes bypass Russian airspace, flying over Japanare heading towards Canada. The others are still under development Russia. In March last year, the US and many other countries imposed a ban on Russian airlines to fly over their territory in connection with Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Russia responded with similar sanctions, which did not apply to Chinese carriers. As a result, American airlines flying on routes to China had to take a longer route, which translated into higher costs.
The Chinese are bypassing Russia to have new connections with the US
In May, US carriers backed by some congressmen put pressure on the Biden administration not to grant further approvals if planes on new routes continue to fly through Russia, the Financial Times reported. Anne Petsonk, assistant secretary of aviation and international affairs at the US Department of Transportation, declined to confirm whether a change in routes was a condition for Chinese airlines to approve the addition of four new routes. The introduction of new flights means that carriers from both countries now have the right to operate 12 return flights a week. This is just a fraction of the more than 150 round trips allowed by each side prior to the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions.
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