US to suspend flights by Chinese airlines from June 16

AP  | Deccan Chronicle

Business, In Other News

The decision was in response to China’s failure to let United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resume flights to China this month

Trump administration moves to block Chinese airlines from US. (AFP Photo)

The Trump administration moved Wednesday to block Chinese airlines from flying to the U.S. in an escalation of trade and diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

The Transportation Department said it would suspend passenger flights of four Chinese airlines to and from the United States starting June 16.

The decision was in response to China’s failure to let United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resume flights to China this month. The airlines suspended those flights earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic that started in China’s Wuhan province.

On Thursday, the Chinese air regulator said more airlines would be allowed to resume flights to and from China but gave no indication whether United and Delta were included.

An employee who answered the phone at the Civil Aviation Administration of China and would give only her surname, Yan, said she had no details on the status of United and Delta.

The Transportation Department said that China was violating a 1980 agreement between the two countries covering flights by each other’s airlines. The department said it would continue talks with Chinese officials to settle the dispute.

Before the pandemic, there were about 325 passenger flights a week between the United States and China, including ones operated by United, Delta and American Airlines. While U.S. carriers stopped their flights, Chinese airlines continued to fly scaled-down schedules between the two countries — 20 flights a week in mid-February and 34 a week by mid-March.

To curb the spread of coronavirus, China limited foreign airlines to one flight per week based on schedules that they operated in mid-March. Since U.S. airlines had already stopped flying to China by then, that effectively has shut them out, the Transportation Department said.

The department said it objected, but China’s aviation agency said last week it was not violating the air-travel treaty because the same one-flight limit applies to Chinese airlines.

Read more...