Trans-Pacific airlines get major boost from changes to Sino-American visa regulations

Many trans-Pacific airlines will have been keeping a keen eye on any news from the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting, and the announcement from Barack Obama regarding new Sino-American visa regulations will not have disappointed. The volume of travellers between China and the USA is set to increase dramatically as a result. In simple terms, students will now be eligible for five-year visas and tourists allowed multiple entry ten-year visas. This has arisen from a keen mutual desire to increase cultural exchanges between the two countries and the new regulations, which will come into effect this Wednesday are, of course, applicable to both US and Chinese citizens. Where students are concerned, previously visas for only one year could be obtained.

American Airlines were one of the first to applaud this new visa system, stating that: “”This agreement is a substantial step forward in opening up travel and tourism opportunities between our two countries. It will result in more travel, greater flexibility and lower costs for citizens in both countries. We are very pleased by this announcement, particularly in light of our increasing service to China.” A senior U.S. official stated that the visa agreement would permit the US to tap into the rapidly-growing market of Chinese tourists who travel abroad. Currently it is estimated that only 2% of Chinese tourists visit the US. “We see this as a really big win,” the official said, estimating that the United States could gain 440,000 jobs by 2021 and receive an $85 billion annual injection into the US economy resulting from the new policy. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines also made it clear the move would increase the level of travel and reduce costs for each country.

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