US airlines can resume limited flights to China

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The three largest US airlines: American airlines (AAL), United airlines (UAL) and Delta Airlines (DAL) They were all flying to China before the coronavirus pandemic, but demand fell sharply as the outbreak took hold and they finally suspended their flights in February when the United States government imposed travel restrictions.

Four Chinese carriers operated during the pandemic with a reduced schedule of one weekly flight eachbetween the two countries But when Delta and United sought to resume serviceOn June 1, US airlines were blocked by Chinese government regulations, according to the US Department of Transportation. USA.

That led the Transportation Department to determine that Beijing was violating a bilateral aviation agreement. The agency said earlier this month that it would effectively ban Chinese flights to the United States starting June 16. The US authorities then withdrew that threat after the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) said it would allow a limited number of flights by the US airlines. .

theThe Transportation Department announced Monday that it was authorizing, with immediate effect, Chinese airlines to fly four round-trip flights each week between the United States and China. The agency said its decision was prompted by China agreeing to do the same for US airlines.

“We welcome this action by the Chinese government as an important first step to fully restore air travel,” the agency said in a statement.

The CAAC has not yet confirmed the development.

An American Airlines spokesman said its flights are scheduled to resume to Beijing and Shanghai in October. Delta and United did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Before the pandemic, airlines in both countries operated around 300 round-trip flights between the United States and China each week.

The air travel dispute reflects growing and broader tensions between Washington and Beijing. Mutual blame for the coronavirus pandemic has threatened to break what was already a fragile truce in trade between the world’s largest economies. The two governments have also clashed over China’s new national security law for Hong Kong and are locked in an ongoing fight over who controls the technologies of the future.

The US Department of Transportation said Monday that it “will continue to push for the full reinstatement of air passenger transport between the United States and China, in part to allow the repatriation of Chinese students who were unable to fly home due to the shortage. ” of flights “.

“As the Chinese government allows more flights by US airlines, it will be up to us,” the agency said.


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