According to Bloomberg, the U.S. on Friday, Jan. 21st, issued restrictions on 44 flights of four Chinese airlines, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, as retaliation for the same actions by Beijing for three U.S. airlines.
Since Dec. 31st, Chinese authorities have suspended many flights of three U.S. airlines. Specifically, 20 flights from United Airlines, 10 flights from American Airlines and 14 flights from Delta Airlines were suspended, after some of their passengers tested positive for Covid-19.
The U.S. Department of Transport announced that the suspension will begin on Jan. 30th, first applying to the Xiamen Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Xiamen. This suspension order will last until March 29th.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said, the U.S. “wantonly suspended Chinese flights and disrupted their normal operations”, and that actions “that is irresponsible and unreasonable”.
Zhao said that China’s measures to limit Covid-19 spread by flight suspension are effective. He called for “the U.S. to respect science” and stop “restricting normal people to people exchanges”.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said that Beijing’s flight suspensions “are adverse to the public interest and warrant proportionate remedial action.” In addition, the statement stressed that Beijing’s “unilateral actions against the named U.S. carriers are inconsistent” with a bilateral agreement between the United States and China.
The Department of Transportation said that Beijing’s flight bans “are adverse to the public interest and warrant proportionate remedial action.” Furthermore, the statement mentioned that Beijing’s “unilateral actions against the named U.S. carriers are inconsistent” with a bilateral agreement between two countries.