China’s Central Airlines plots US flights from 4Q23

Central Airlines (I9, Haikou) has filed an application with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin operating cargo and mail flights between China and the United States (US) in November 2023. The airline says it initially wants to fly a B777-F between Shenzhen and an unspecified airport in the New York area six times a week.

The service would be the privately owned airline’s first scheduled services to North America. Central Airlines’ single B777F primarily flies to Paris CDG and Riyadh, while its five B737-300(F)s and four B737-800(BCF)s service ports within China as well as around Asia.

Beyond New York, the Central Airlines application states that it wants permission to operate flights from “a point or points in
the People’s Republic of China to any point or points in the United States open to scheduled international service.” It says the application is fully consistent with the air services agreement China and the US that was signed in 1980. “Central Airlines’ proposed service would benefit shippers in both the United States and China by providing new scheduled service and would serve the public interest,” the application reads.

According to ch-aviation capacities data, 11 cargo airlines presently operate on the China – US country pair with Air China accounting for 24.72% of the current weekly frequencies. The other airlines running cargo flights on the country pair and their share of total weekly frequencies are Suparna Airlines (18.08%); China Eastern Airlines (16.97%); China Cargo Airlines (15.13%); China Southern Airlines (12.18%); Polar Air Cargo (3.32%); SF Airlines (2.58%); Korean Air (2.21%); Cargolux (1.85%); Hainan Airlines (1.48%); and Qantas (1.48%).

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