US will allow limited flights by Chinese airlines, not a ban

News

US will allow limited flights by Chinese airlines, not a ban

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


WASHINGTON, DC, United States (AP) — The Trump Administration said yesterday it will let Chinese airlines operate a limited number of flights to the US, backing down from a threat to ban the flights.

The decision came one day after China appeared to open the door to US carriers United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resuming one flight per week each into the country.

The Transportation Department said it will let Chinese passenger airlines fly a combined total of two round-trip flights per week between the US and China, which it said would equal the number of flights that China's aviation authority will allow for US carriers.

Delta praised the US Government for trying to “ensure fairness and access to China”. United said it was reviewing the matter. Neither said whether the latest development in the dispute between the two countries would affect their plans. Both had hoped to offer more flights.

The Transportation Department said it might further ease restrictions if China does the same. Officials are concerned, however, about conditions China is imposing that could affect whether US airlines resume their flights. Those requirements include taking temperatures of all passengers in mid-flight and suspending an airline's future flights if five or more passengers test positive for the coronavirus after arriving in China.

China's embassy in Washington did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The dispute between Washington and Beijing over airline service has been building for weeks and is part of broader trade and diplomatic tension between the world's two biggest economies.

In early January, there were more than 300 flights per week between the two countries, but international carriers reduced and then stopped flying to China as the coronavirus pandemic devastated demand for air travel. United, Delta and American Airlines suspended flights to China before mid-March.

Chinese airlines reduced but didn't eliminate their flights to the US. They ran about 20 flights per week in February, 34 by mid-March. Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines continue flying those routes.

Travel in both China and the US has partly recovered in the past two months, although it remains far below 2019 levels. In May, Chicago-based United and Atlanta-based Delta petitioned China to resume flights there, but received no response.

The Trump Administration protested that China's refusal to grant access to US airlines was unfair. The Transportation Department announced Wednesday that it would prohibit all passenger airline flights from China no later than June 16.

On Thursday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said it would let more foreign airlines fly to China starting next week as anti-coronavirus controls are eased.

The order did not identify airlines, but it appeared to limit United and Delta to one flight per week because they stopped flying to China before mid-March. American, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, does not plan to return to China before October.

The air service spat escalated against a backdrop of a long-running trade dispute between the US and China. Washington has also criticised China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak and treatment of Hong Kong. Chinese officials fired back this week by highlighting civil unrest and racial discrimination in the US.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT