Come fly around China as much as you like!

By David Mumford


Local agents in China have confirmed that authorities have dropped the 6 sector limit on foreign private/bizav flights.

Until now, aircraft were limited to 6 flights in China – international arrival, 4 internal flights, and international departure. But from June 20 all sector limits have been removed, so you can now fly as many domestic sectors in China as you want.

Here’s a beautiful graphic we made to illustrate the change:

So beautiful. So unnecessary.

True to form, the authorities in China haven’t officially published this change anywhere. We heard about it from an OPSGROUP member (thanks! please tell us more things!), and double-checked it with a few local agents in China who confirmed the change.

Which local agents?

Three of them, all said the same thing. You can contact them here:
Mainland GroundExpress:

Why has this changed happened?

It’s all part of China’s big re-opening post-Covid, and aimed at getting traffic levels back up again. China fully reopened to tourists in March 2023, after three years of border restrictions. For pax, quarantine was dropped in Jan, and PCR tests were replaced with rapid antigen tests at the end of April. For crew, you no longer need a Covid test at all – you just need a C type visa and to fill out the online health dec form to generate a QR code which you show on arrival.

What about cabotage?

Not really an issue here – foreign reg private/bizav flights can pick up and drop off different pax on domestic flights without issue.

China treats private and charter flights as the same thing. The only difference comes when you have more than 29 seats onboard. In this case, the CAAC will treat you as non-scheduled commercial flight, which means things get more tricky – additional permit requirements including providing a charter agreement, AOC and other aircraft docs.

All interesting in theory. But what are ops to China really like?

We don’t know. But we know someone who does – YOU! – fine upstanding members of OPSGROUP!

We’ve had several reports recently from OPSGROUP members who have flown to China. Head over to Airport Spy on your dashboard to read the reports!

We want your reports!

If you’ve been to China (or anywhere else, for that matter) and can share some info on how the trip went, let us know. Or even better, skip the middle man and file an Airport Spy report!

More info on China ops

  • For all your questions on ops to/between/over/avoiding China and Taiwan, check here.
  • For some general top tips on ops to China, check here.
  • Want to know what the deal is with crew visas in China? Check here.
  • Make sure you know about the hidden permit costs of operating to China here.
  • Read about the latest goings on in the South China Sea here.
  • OPSGROUP members can download a Himalayan Routing Guide here.

More on the topic:

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