China has agreed to open a new corridor through its tightly restricted air space that could save airlines a total of US$30 million in annual fuel costs and trim an average of half an hour off flight times between China and Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported. Only 30% of China's air space, which is controlled by the military, is open to civil aviation, making it one of the world's most restricted countries. The new route is the first of several steps the International Air Transport Association, the main trade group for the world's airlines, wants Chinese authorities to take to prevent lengthening delays on flights to and from China's biggest cities. Carriers likely to benefit include Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Lufthansa, FedEx and United Parcel Service, which currently must follow rigid and often meandering routes, including doglegs and 90-degree turns. The concession follows six years of talks on the issue.