China-US to double passenger services

China and the US agreed to more than double the number of daily

passenger services between the US and China by 2012. Air cargo companies will

also have greatly expanded commercial freedom by 2011 as part of a new civil

aviation agreement reached by US Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and

Chinese Minister of Civil Aviation Yang Yuanyuan.

“Piece by piece, we are making it easier, cheaper, and more convenient to fly people and ship goods between our two countries,” Secretary Peters said. “We both understand that the path to friendship and cooperation is paved with easy access and close connections.”

Secretary Peters traveled to China in Apr-07 to continue talks on the previous civil aviation agreement, in place since 2004, and discuss a framework to increase future air passenger and cargo travel between the two countries. The agreement, announced during the Strategic Economic Dialogue hosted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, is another demonstration of the Bush Administration’s commitment to expanding and opening new international aviation markets worldwide, Peters added.

Starting this year, the new agreement will allow for 13 new daily services operated by US carriers to and from China within five years. One new daily service will be added in 2007 and 2008, four new daily services in 2009, three more daily services in 2010, and two new daily services in 2011 and 2012 for a total of 23 per day. Under the current agreement, US airlines today can operate only 10 daily services into Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

In addition, this agreement will allow the US to designate three additional U.S. carriers to operate to China: one in 2007 and two in 2009. The deal also will provide US cargo carriers with virtually unfettered access to Chinese markets by lifting all government-set limits on the number of cargo services and cargo carriers serving the two countries by 2011, Secretary Peters added.

The Secretary also stated that, as part of today's agreement, US and Chinese officials have committed to resume negotiations in 2010 to establish a timetable to achieve the mutual objective of full liberalisation.

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