US Airlines Urge Biden to Curb China’s Anti-Competitive Flight Policies


Tensions are escalating in the aviation industry as top American airline corporations, supported by their unions, petition the Biden administration to withhold additional flight approvals between the United States and China. They argue that China’s enforced ‘anti-competitive’ policies are unfairly impeding U.S. carriers and jeopardizing the American aviation industry.

These prominent airline industry leaders leveled their criticisms towards China on Thursday, citing the nation’s initial closure of its aviation market to the U.S at the onset of the global pandemic. They claim that persisting stipulations over U.S. airlines operations abroad are detrimental, not just to business entities, but to their dedicated crew as well.

Follow us on Google News! ✔️

In a collective plea to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, they contended, “These actions unveiled the emphatic need for the U.S. government to enforce protective policies for U.S. aviation workers, the entire industry, and its traveling patrons.”

Lending credence to this appeal is the unified front presented by the Airlines for America trade group CEO and the leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association (representing crews working with American Airlines), and the Association of Flight Attendants.

Despite the resurgence in the volume of flights traversing the China-U.S. route, the current statistic remains a far cry from the bustling pre-pandemic levels. This plea arrives on the heels of a recent policy enhancement by the Biden administration that upscaled the number of round trips Chinese airlines could undertake from 35 to 50 per week, a policy enacted from March 31. The increment was prompted by an assurance from China’s aviation authority of a reciprocal boost in flight opportunities for U.S. carriers.

The American airlines argue that China’s airlines acquire unfair leverage by utilizing shorter, more efficient routes that cut through Russian airspace – an advantage denied to the U.S. airlines since the Russian invasion of Ukraine over two years ago. Adding fuel to the fire, U.S. airlines allege Chinese state-owned airlines benefit from specially granted protections that further propagate imbalance in the competitive dynamic.

The warning from the U.S. industry bodies is clear in their letter: should the U.S. continue to be denied parity in access to China’s aviation sector, they inevitably risk losing flight routes – and associated revenues – to Chinese airlines. The consequences could be far-reaching, creating a seismic shift in the global aviation landscape.