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Notice on the Work Plan of the Resumption of International Passenger Flights29/12/2022

(English Translation for Reference)

Notice on the Work Plan of the Resumption of International Passenger Flights    

To CAAC Regional Administrations, Airlines and Airports

In accordance with the Notice on the Overall Plan of Managing Novel Coronavirus Infection with Measures Against Class B Infectious Diseases (Joint Mechanism ZF〔2022〕No.144) and the Notice on Provisional Measures of Cross-border Travel issued respectively by the General Group and the Foreign Affairs Group of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council in Response to Covid-19 infection, the work plan of the resumption of international passenger flights is developed as follows, which will be effective starting January 8, 2023:

1. General Principle

For the purpose of making efficient coordination in ensuing operational safety, pandemic prevention and control, and pursuing sector recovery and development, and in accordance with the principles of safety first, market orientation, and early implementation of supporting services, the resumption of international passenger flights will be promoted in a steady manner to meet the needs of international personnel as well as economic and trade exchanges. 

2. Specific Measures

(1) Adjustment and control measures such as the “five-ones policy” and the “country-specific policy” will no longer be implemented on international passenger flights, and both Chinese and foreign airlines could resume their scheduled passenger flights as per the arrangements prescribed in the framework of bilateral Air Service Agreements.

(2) International passenger charter applications of Chinese and foreign airlines will be reviewed and approved in a gradual manner, and the pre-pandemic application procedure will be fully restored starting the 2023 Summer Season; applications for inbound business jets will be reviewed and approved in accordance with the pre-pandemic procedures.

(3) The service procedures for inbound flights at each airport shall be optimized to improve operational efficiency, and the prevention and control requirements to personnel, space and facilities such as the “four designates, four specifies, two centralizes” will be lifted, so as to fully release the supporting resources and enhance the accommodating capability to receive international flights. When airports have insufficient supporting resources such as shortages of personnel and facilities that result in the difficulty to meet the demand for additional flights in a short period of time, notices should be made by airports in a timely manner, in which explanations shall be made and the date of availability should be explicitly expressed. CAAC will guide Chinese and foreign airlines to strengthen communication with relevant airports in advance with an aim to reasonably arrange the operational capacity.

(4) Fights will no longer be classified by the level of risks, and passenger load factor (PLF) restrictions of no higher than 75% for inbound flights will be lifted.

(5) The close-loop management, nucleic acid tests and quarantine measures for related airport staff as well as crew members for domestic and international services will be removed. All staff shall maintain personal protection and health monitoring. Crew members shall wear masks, sanitize their hands, and continue to implement cabin and lavatory disinfection. Guidance shall be introduced to ensure that passengers are wearing masks.

(6) The measure regarding safety oversight of Chinese and foreign airlines operating international passenger air services will be strengthened to safeguard the bottom line of safety.

(7) The tariff for international air transport will be closely monitored in accordance with the bilateral Air Services Agreements and relevant domestic laws and regulations. Together with the market supervision and administration authorities, the inspection on unfair competition in tariff for international air transport will be reinforced to ensure the normal order of tariff in air transport market, and safeguard the lawful rights and interests of consumers and operators.

3. Implementation Arrangements

CAAC will take the lead in promoting the resumption of international passenger flights by detailing and announcing specific measures and arrangements, communicating with foreign civil aviation authorities, as well as coordinating with various entities in the industry to make efforts in operational safety, pandemic prevention and control, and operational organization. CAAC shall also create synergy with competent authorities and local governments to strengthen coordination so as to ensure the safe and smooth recovery of international passenger flights.