After the USA said that it will block Chinese airlines from flying into or out of the US starting on June 16, the Chinese authorities have said that the foreign airlines would be allowed to operate one flight per week, The New York Times reported.
The US announcement was in response to the Chinese government preventing US airlines from resuming service between the two countries.
A US Transportation Department order said that “Chinese aviation authorities have failed to permit US air carriers to” operate the routes they previously flew.
“The department will continue to engage our Chinese counterparts so both US and Chinese carriers can fully exercise their bilateral rights,” the department said in a statement.
“In the meantime, we will allow Chinese carriers to operate the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours,” it added.
On March 26, Chinese aviation regulators had announced limited foreign carriers to one flight per week based on the flight schedules they had in place earlier that month.
But all American airlines that fly between China and the US had stopped service to the country by then because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The March decision became a problem only in recent weeks, as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines had hoped to resume flights to China starting this month. Both carriers appealed to the Civil Aviation Authority of China but did not receive a response.
The US officials also pressed Chinese officials to change their position during the call of May 14. Washington contended that China was in violation of a 1980 agreement that governs flights between the two countries and aims to ensure that rules “equally apply to all domestic and foreign carriers” in both countries.
Tensions between the US and China have escalated sharply in recent weeks as the countries scuffle over the origin of the pandemic and Beijing’s recent move to tighten its authority over Hong Kong.