Travel

US suspends 26 Chinese flights amid travel spat

US suspends 26 Chinese flights amid travel spat

WASHINGTON (Agencies): The US government announced on Thursday that 26 China-bound flights by four Chinese carriers will be suspended starting September 5.

The suspensions come in response to the Chinese government’s decision to suspend US some carrier flights, the Chinese Embassy in Washington’s spokesperson Liu Pengyu said the US Department of Transportation (DOT) action was “extremely irresponsible” and “groundlessly suspended Chinese airline flights.”

As of August 7, Chinese authorities revised their policies, if the number of passengers testing positive for Covid-19 reached 4 percent of the total number of passengers on a flight to China, one flight would be suspended and two flights if it reached 8 percent.

The DOT said the US has repeatedly raised objections with China, saying the rules place “undue culpability on carriers” when travellers test negative before boarding their flight from the United States only to “test positive for Covid-19 after their arrival in China.”

Flights suspended will include Xiamen, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, the US Department of Transportation cited the recent cancellation of 26 American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines flights.

Before the recent cancellations, three US airlines and four Chinese carriers were operating about 20 flights a week between the countries, well below the figure of more than 100 per week before the pandemic.

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