U.S. to Suspend Flights to Country by Chinese Airlines

By Kurt Stolz on 3 June 2020
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The U.S. Department of Transportation said it would bar passenger flights from China operated by Chinese airlines.

The order applies to four Chinese airlines – namely Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines – that have continued to fly between the two countries during the pandemic, albeit at reduced levels. The order is slated to go into effect on June 16, 2020.

The move comes as a result of Beijing’s order that domestic and foreign carriers could operate no more than one weekly flight between China and any given country and not exceed the level of service they offered on March 12, 2020.

The DOT contended that the March order had effectively banned U.S. airlines, which had voluntarily suspended service between the two countries in February amidst the coronavirus outbreak and plummeting demand, as well as the president’s order barring entry to the U.S. for most Chinese travellers.

The agency further said the refusal to grant requests by U.S. airlines to resume service in June violated a 1990 agreement that governs air travel between the two countries.

“We conclude that these circumstances require the Department’s action to restore a competitive balance and fair and equal opportunity among US and Chinese air carriers,” the agency said, adding that its “overriding goal is not the perpetuation of this situation but rather an improved environment.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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