Closed petition Urge China to allow direct flights between UK and China to resume

We are asking the Government to seek to negotiate with the Chinese Government for the resumption of direct flights between the UK and China.

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Since December 2020 China has banned direct flights from the UK to the Chinese mainland, making it extremely difficult and expensive for Chinese citizens and residents to return home, and vice versa.

Some Chinese and UK citizens and residents, particularly students, are being left stranded in each other’s countries as the only available flight routes are so expensive and uncertain.

The situation is causing tremendous anxiety to many. Families have been separated, visas overstayed, jobs have been lost, and savings have been wiped out by the cost of extended stays abroad and expensive flights home. Not to mention the financial blow to the UK tourism industry and universities from losing Chinese students.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 6 December 2021

The UK Government has been in continuous contact with the Chinese authorities to seek the relaxation of China’s unilateral decision to ban direct scheduled passenger flights between the UK and China.

Read the response in full

The Department for Transport and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office have been working together to seek agreement from the Chinese Government to allow the resumption of direct scheduled passenger services. We have raised this in Beijing and London at the highest levels. We recognise that the current ban has caused a lot of anxiety and stress for individuals and families.

The decision to ban direct scheduled passenger services was a unilateral decision made by the Chinese Government in December 2020. The Chinese Government continues to keep the ban in place in response to the ongoing global pandemic, and due to airport capacity constraints arising from implementation of strict local procedures for handling inbound flights during the pandemic.

The UK Government recognises the importance of people-to-people links with China and is fully aware of the impact of the ban has on the business, academia and tourism sectors. Since the ban came into place, the UK Government has been working hard to push for the resumption of direct scheduled passenger service via discussions with the Chinese authorities. This dialogue has allowed us to continue to authorise ad-hoc flights between China and the UK – including cargo only services and charter flights to transport Chinese students to UK universities.

The Government will continue to seek the resumption of scheduled passenger services to ensure people can return home and families can be reunited as soon as possible.

Department for Transport