TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The United States government criticized the decision China canceled many flights from the US due to passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 and warned they could take retaliatory action.
“China’s actions are not in line with the US-China Air Transport Agreement. We are engaged with (the Chinese government) on this and we reserve the right to take appropriate regulatory action,” a Transportation Department spokesman said. United States of America (USDOT). .
China on Wednesday ordered the suspension of six US flights to China in the coming weeks after a surge in passengers testing positive for Covid-19, rising to 70 cancellations so far this year.
The latest suspension affects two United Airlines flights from San Francisco to Shanghai and four China Southern Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Guangzhou.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington was not immediately available for comment.
Airlines for America, the trade group representing United, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, said the US carrier was “in communication with the US and Chinese governments to identify a path forward that minimizes the impact on travelers.”
Beijing and Washington have been arguing about air service since the start of the pandemic.
Prior to the latest cancellations, three US airlines and four Chinese airlines operated about 20 flights a week between countries, well below the figure of more than 100 per week before the pandemic.
China has suspended flights with other countries, including six flights from France and Canada, Wednesday.
The number of canceled US flights has grown since December, as infections caused by the Omicron variant surged to a record high in the United States.
China shuts all its borders to travelers, cutting it off completely flight to just 200 a week, or 2 percent of pre-pandemic levels, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in September.
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