U.S. and China Suspend Air Routes Over COVID Row


Reuters reports each nation will suspend 26 outbound flights to either country, affecting six airlines and at least two American cities.


Grounded Flights Based Around China’s “Circuit Breaker” COVID Policies

On the Chinese side, the U.S. Department of Transportation will block 26 flights aboard China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Air between September 5 and 28, 2022, affecting service in Los Angeles and New York. From China, aviation authorities are grounding 26 flights between the three major legacy carriers: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.


A spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Washington told Reuters the decision to ground the flights were based on the country’s “Circuit Breaker” policy for new COVID-19 cases in any city. The embassy denounced the move as “extremely irresponsible,” calling their options to ground U.S. flights consistent with international aviation agreements.


However, officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation have a different opinion on Chinese policies. Under the latest revision, the “Circuit Breaker” calls for a flight to be suspended if more than 4% of passengers tested positive for the virus, and two to be suspended if the positive rate was above 8%. The Transportation Department claims this policy puts “undue culpability on carriers” if they test negative prior to boarding, and then test positive upon arrival.


This isn’t the first time the two nations have disagreed on aviation policies when it comes to COVID-19. In January 2022, both countries suspended 44 flights from each other’s nations over the “Circuit Breaker” approach to controlling the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

Source: frugal travel guy

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