Trump to bar Chinese airlines from flying to US

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump's administration plans to bar Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the US starting in mid-June as it pressures Beijing to allow US air carriers to resume flights, three US and airline officials briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The move penalises China after Beijing failed to comply with an existing agreement on flights between the world's two largest economies.

Relations between the two countries have soured recently amid escalating tensions surrounding the pandemic.

The restrictions are expected to take effect on June 16 but the date could be moved up by Mr Trump, the people briefed on the matter said, on condition of anonymity.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have asked to resume flights to China this month, even as Chinese carriers have continued its US flights during the pandemic.

The order applies to Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, sources said.

The US Transportation Department confirmed that it will suspend Chinese passenger flights to US.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On May 22, Mr Trump's administration accused the Chinese government of making it impossible for US airlines to resume service to China and ordered four Chinese carriers to file flight schedules with the US government.

The administration is also cracking down on Chinese passenger airline charter flights and will warn carriers not to expect approvals.

Administration officials have suggested charter flights have been used to circumvent Chinese government limits on flights. - REUTERS