Sun, 05 Feb 2023

Travel from US to China, Japan not seen to return soon

Robert Besser
22 Jan 2023, 09:49 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: Airlines for America, a group representing major US airlines, said the demand for international air travel from either China or Japan is not likely to quickly return to normal before the end of March.

It also said the government needs to extend a waiver on some US COVID-19 requirements on select international routes.

Airlines for America told the US Transportation Department that airlines "do not foresee significant and certain international passenger growth in either China or Japan before" the expiration of a current USDOT waiver.

Ticket sales for the US-China market as of December remained 88 percent below levels from 2019, and passenger demand for both markets remains "severely depressed," the group added.

The group added that "international air travel to China remains severely depressed due to cumbersome, uncertain, and constantly evolving travel requirements and entry barriers."

New testing requirements for travelers from China to the US, revised travel and visa requirements for entry into China and the ongoing temporary refusal for the issuing of tourism visas, and the "implementation of restrictions in other jurisdictions for travelers coming from China," were also mentioned by the group.

From 5th January, travelers from China will have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests before they can enter the US.

Entry restrictions on nationalities "suppress demand and prevent our members from being able to operate their limited-entry frequencies," the group further said, noting that travel to Tokyo Haneda airport remains at low levels.

"While Japan is starting to reopen to international travel and, as a result, the US-Tokyo demand environment is improving, the pace of the rebound has been sluggish and forward-looking demand remains choppy," Airlines for America stated.

Passenger volumes in 2022 for US-Tokyo travel was only 19 percent, while the international average during that period was 56 percent, it added.

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