US Says China Violated Bilateral Transportation Pact in Canceling Flights Over COVID-19 Concerns
04:05 GMT 13.01.2022 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
Earlier this week, American Airlines and United Airlines disclosed that Chinese aviation regulators were taking precautionary measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, and resultantly blocked the entry of a number of their flights with passengers who tested positive for the contagious disease.
On Wednesday, the US government spoke out about China's decision to halt several US flights over COVID-19 concerns, arguing that the decision comes contrary to the countries' bilateral air transport agreement
"China’s actions are inconsistent with its obligations under the US-China Air Transport Agreement," said a US Transportation Department spokesperson. "We are engaging with the [People's Republic of China] on this and we retain the right to take regulatory measures as appropriate."
More than 70 flights have been suspended this year due to the Chinese mandate, including two recent cancellations impacting two United Airlines flights from San Francisco, California, to Shanghai.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, has yet to comment on the situation.
Airlines for America, a lobbying group that represent North American airlines such as American Airlines and United Airlines, issued a statement detailing that companies are growing "concerned about the implication of a disruption and are continuing to assess the impact to operations."
"We are in communication with the U.S. and Chinese governments to identify a path forward that minimizes impact to travelers," the group added.