The US government said it would suspend 26 flights from the United States to China by four Chinese airlines. photo/document
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The decision will affect flights of Xiamen, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines from September 5 to September 28. According to the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), 26 American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines flights have been canceled recently due to COVID-19 cases.
Temporary stops include 19 flights from Los Angeles to China and 7 flights from New York to China Eastern.
Responding to the US retaliation, Chinese embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said USDOT’s action was “extremely irresponsible” and “the unfounded suspension of Chinese airlines”.
The embassy said China’s COVID-19 containment measures were carried out in a fair and transparent manner, applicable to both Chinese and foreign airlines and in line with bilateral air transport agreements.
USDOT said on 7 August that Chinese authorities had amended its policy to suspend a flight if the number of passengers on flights to China who tested positive for COVID-19 reached 4% of the total. Will go If it reaches 8%, two flights will be suspended.
USDOT explained that the US has repeatedly objected to China, saying the rules place “undue blame on airlines”. When passengers test negative before boarding their flight from the United States, “test positive for COVID-19 upon their arrival in China.”
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Beijing and Washington have been arguing over air service since the start of the pandemic. In January, the Department of Transportation suspended 44 flights from the United States to China by four Chinese airlines in response to China’s decision to suspend 44 flights by American airlines.
In August 2021, after Beijing imposed a similar limit on four United Airlines flights, USDOT limited four flights from Chinese carriers to 40% passenger capacity for four weeks.
Three American airlines and four Chinese airlines typically operate about 20 flights a week between the two countries, down from less than 100 a week before the pandemic.