CAAC programme expands access for two Dutch airlines

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 12:00am

The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) has continued its aggressive programme of opening its skies to foreign carriers, yesterday granting two Dutch carriers more access to the mainland.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines had its rights expanded in the major hubs of Shanghai and Beijing, and gained access to an additional six destinations - Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xian, Xiamen, Kunming and Qingdao.

Cargo carrier Martinair was granted 10 weekly frequencies to four destinations - Nanjing, Kunming, Tianjin and Shenzhen - while being granted fifth-freedom access to Nanjing.

KLM alliance development director Choi Chongwor said the carrier was happy with the expanded rights. 'The response from the Civil Aviation Administration of China is very positive,' said Mr Choi.

The Dutch flag-carrier will be allowed to operate a daily combi service - designed to carry half passengers and half freight - between Amsterdam and Beijing, an increase from its five times a week service.

As part of the agreement, KLM's traffic rights to China's busiest hub, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, will double to 10 times a week, of which three will be freighter services.

Two of KLM's cargo services to Shanghai from Amsterdam, which will be code-shared with Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines, will be in place later this month.

KLM will add the third freighter service in March. The combi services will begin next summer, followed by the new Beijing flights in the third and fourth quarter of next year.

KLM was granted eight weekly rights to the new destinations, with the maximum frequency to one city limited to five times a week.

'We are studying when and where to put the new services. It's a rather medium-term plan,' Mr Choi said.