Both United and Delta are ready to start flying again to China, but the hurdle has been regulatory. The U.S. Department of Transportation late Friday made the first moves to help carriers make it happen.
The U.S. Transportation Department late on Friday accused the Chinese government of making it impossible for U.S. air carriers to resume service to China and ordered Chinese air carriers to file flight schedules with the U.S. government.
The administration of President Donald Trump stopped short of imposing restrictions on Chinese air carriers but said talks with China had failed to produce an agreement.
In an order seen by Reuters, the Transportation Department called the situation “critical” because both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines want to resume flights to China in June, even as Chinese carriers have continued U.S. flights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order said Chinese carriers, including Air China China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co and Hainan Airlines Holding Co, must file schedules and other details of flights by May 27.
On Jan. 31, the U.S. government barred most non-U.S. citizens from traveling to the United States who had been in China within the previous 14 days but did not impose any restrictions on Chinese flights.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by William Mallard)
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Photo credit: United Airlines is among the U.S. carriers that has said it is ready to starting flying routes to China again. Skift