Photo Credit: Photo by Lukas Souza
U.S. Department Of Transportation To Suspend 26 Chinese- Operated Flights Bound For China
Since its onset, the pandemic has been a point of contention between The United States and China. Each nation has suspended flights from the other at different points.
The U.S. government intends to suspend 26 flights bound for China operated by Chinese carriers. The reason? According to Reuters, this is “in response to the Chinese government’s decision to suspend some U.S. carrier flights over COVID-19 cases.”
The Chinese carriers impacted include Xiamen, Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines. The suspension will impact most of September 2022.
Some of the suspended flights include 19 scheduled to go to China from Los Angeles and 7 departing from New York.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington expressed displeasure. Its spokesperson, Liu Pengyu, decried the action as “extremely irresponsible,” and called the reasons for the suspension “groundless.”
The Chinese embassy said “China’s COVID-19 circuit breaker measures were fair and transparent. Additionally, “the measures were applicable to Chinese and foreign airlines. They also didn’t violate air transportation agreements.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation said that Chinese authorities had changed their regulations effective August 7. Reuters wrote: “if the number of passengers on a flight to China testing positive for COVID-19 reached 4% of the total, one flight would be suspended. If it reached 8%, two flights would be suspended.”
USDOT says Chinese regulations, “place undue culpability on carriers when travelers test negative before boarding their flight from the United States only to test positive for COVID-19 after their arrival in China.”
This latest series of suspensions isn’t the first. Back in January, The USDOT suspended nearly 50 flights managed by Chinese carriers after China suspended 44 flights by American carriers.