Daily Management Review

44 US Flights By Chinese Carriers Suspended By Joe Biden Administration Following Similar Chinese Action


44 US Flights By Chinese Carriers Suspended By Joe Biden Administration Following Similar Chinese Action
The United States government has announced suspension of 44 China-bound flights from the US by four Chinese carriers as a reaction to the Chinese government's decision to block some US carrier flights over Covid-19 fears.
According to the Transportation Department of the country, the suspensions will begin on January 30 with Xiamen Airlines' scheduled Los Angeles-to-Xiamen trip and will last until March 29.
Some Xiamen, Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines flights would be cancelled as a result of the decision.
After several passengers tested positive for Covid-19, Chinese officials have cancelled 20 United Airlines, 10 American Airlines, and 14 Delta Air Lines flights since December 31. The Transportation Department had stated on Tuesday that the Chinese government had announced fresh flight cancellations in the United States.
The government policy for international passenger flights getting into China has "been applied equally to Chinese and foreign airlines in a fair, open and transparent way," said Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington.
Calling the latest decision of the US government as being "very unreasonable", he added: "We urge the U.S. side to stop disrupting and restricting the normal passenger flights" by Chinese airlines."
It supported Washington's action "to ensure the fair treatment of U.S. airlines in the Chinese market," said Airlines for America, a trade group representing the three US carriers affected by China's move along with others.
Similar steps against China’s Covid-19 actions have been taken by France and Germany, said the US Transportation Department.
The department said China's suspension of the 44 flights "are adverse to the public interest and warrant proportionate remedial action."  China's "unilateral actions against the named U.S. carriers are inconsistent" with a bilateral agreement, the department added.
Numerous US flights by Chinese carriers have been suspended by China following passengers testing positive for Covid-19 later on. If China revised its "policies to bring about the necessary improved situation for U.S. carriers", it would be willing to review its action, the transport Department said.
But if China cancels more flights, "we reserve the right to take additional action", the department warned in its statement.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the country has effectively closed its borders to tourists, reducing total international flights to barely 200 per week, or 2 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Since December, the number of US flights that have been canceled has increased dramatically, as infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron strain of the coronavirus have reached new highs in the United States.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Beijing and Washington have fought over air services. After Beijing applied similar restrictions on four United Airlines flights, the US Transportation Department prohibited four Chinese carriers' flights to 40 per cent passenger capacity for four weeks in August.
Prior to the latest flight suspensions, three US airlines and four Chinese airlines were operating approximately 20 flights per week between the two nations, far less than the more than 100 flights per week that existed prior to the pandemic.