July 16, 2020 / 10:26 AM / 20 days ago

Air France-KLM adds China flights after France intervenes

BEIJING/PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) will add more flights to China, the airline group said on Thursday, after France moved to reduce Chinese airlines’ services in protest of flight restrictions imposed by Beijing.

Air France-KLM will operate a second Paris-Shanghai flight and a new Amsterdam-Shanghai service starting next week, the French embassy in Beijing also said on its website.

The loosening of restrictions came after Paris began limiting Chinese airlines to one weekly passenger flight to France between them starting on Monday, in response to Beijing’s curbs on Air France services.

China, which introduced drastic coronavirus travel restrictions in March, had restricted Air France to one flight, while three of its own carriers each flew weekly to France. Reciprocal U.S.-China travel curbs have also further strained Beijing’s frayed ties with Washington.

Air France hopes soon to add a third flight to another Chinese city, a spokeswoman for the group said on Thursday.

“Positive discussions are continuing to increase the flight frequencies between France and China in compliance with the bilateral air services agreement,” the French embassy said.

Reporting by Stella Qiu, Brenda Goh and Laurence Frost; Editing by Edmund Blair and Steve Orlofsky

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