American Flights Suspended By China, United States Responds

American Flights Suspended By China, United States Responds

United States - The United States government on Friday said it would suspend 44 flights to China. This was done because China suspended some US flights due to Covid-19 fears.

The Department of Transportation said the suspension would begin January 30 with a Los Angeles to Xiamen flight scheduled for Xiamen Airlines and last until March 29, 2022. The decision will suspend several flights, namely Xiamen, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. 

Since December 31, 2021, China has suspended 20 United Airlines, 10 American Airlines and 14 Delta Airlines flights because several passengers tested positive for COVID-19.

Liu Pingyu, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, said that the policy for international passenger flights entering China is applied equally to Chinese and foreign airlines in a fair, open and transparent manner.

Liu Pingyu called the US move unfair and unreasonable. "We urge the US side to stop disrupting and restricting normal passenger flights by Chinese airlines," Liu said. Quoted by from Reuters.

Meanwhile, the trade group representing the three major US carriers, Airlines for America said it supported Washington's actions. That's because they are affected by China's move and make sure they want to get fair treatment of US airlines in the Chinese market.

The Ministry of Transportation said France and Germany had already taken similar steps against Covid-19 measures in China. China's flight suspension is considered detrimental to the public interest and requires corrective action. This action is also considered a unilateral move by China and inconsistent with bilateral agreements.

The US Department of Transportation said it was ready to review its actions if China revised its policies for a better situation. In September 2021 the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said China had closed all of its borders to travelers, cutting its total international flights to 200 per week, or 2% of the pandemic level.

The number of canceled US flights has soared since December due to the high variance of the Omicron virus in the United States. Since the start of the pandemic, Beijing and Washington have been arguing about air services.

Prior to the cancellations, three US airlines and four Chinese airlines operated about 20 flights per week. Whereas before the pandemic, flights could reach more than 100 per week.

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