China preparing to expand airline service to United States

FILE - A passenger checks her phone as an Air China passenger jet taxi past at the Beijing Capital International airport in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. The Chinese air travel regulator is preparing to allow airlines to fly more routes between China and the United States following the lifting of anti-virus travel restrictions, state TV reported Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese air travel regulator is preparing to allow airlines to fly more routes between China and the United States following the lifting of anti-virus travel restrictions, state TV reported Wednesday.

U.S. and Chinese airlines are among some 40 carriers that have submitted applications covering some 700 flights per week involving 34 countries, China Central Television reported on its website. It gave no timeline for when normal flights might resume.

China suspended most airline flights and other travel into and out of the country following the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.

Most restrictions on movement have been dropped. On Sunday, the first passengers were allowed to fly into China without being quarantined after arrival.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China will talk with U.S. regulators to “promote the smooth resumption of flights” between the two countries, the CCTV report said.