China, US in tit-for-tat flight cancellation fight

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Air China
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https://bit.ly/3PE9HlMThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced it will suspend 26 flights from the United States to China operated by Chinese airlines in response to the Chinese government requiring U.S. carriers to suspend their flights to China, the agency said Friday as the two sides argue over anti-COVID rules. The suspensions from 5 September to 28 September will affect seven flights from New York and 19 flights from Los Angeles by four airlines — Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, according to a Reuters report.

The 26 total equals the number of flights for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines that China recently canceled as “circuit-breaker” penalties resulting from passengers testing positive for Covid-19 “up to seven days after their arrival in China,” according to DOT.

Earlier in August, the Civil Aviation Administration of China revised its “circuit-breaker” measures for scheduled international passenger flights “in a bid to effectively coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control.” For any airline carrying at least five passengers who test positive for COVID-19, if that number reaches 4 percent or more, the airline’s operation on that specific route will be suspended for one operation. If the number of confirmed passengers testing positive reaches 8 percent or more, the airline’s operation on that route shall be suspended for two operations, according to the Chinese agency.

“Since March 2020, China has unilaterally imposed frequency and capacity restrictions that are inconsistent with the terms of the U.S.-China Air Transport Agreement,” the DOT said. The U.S. government has “repeatedly raised its objections to the circuit-breaker policy with Chinese government officials.”


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