China speechless after US lays into Beijing over cancelled flights – ‘Inconsistent’

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China cancelled the flights after confirming passengers travelling on the routes had tested positive for coronavirus. A spokesman for the US Transportation Department said China was not following its obligations under transport agreements and that further measures could follow.

He said: “China’s actions are inconsistent with its obligations under the US-China Air Transport Agreement.

“We are engaging with them (Chinese government) on this and we retain the right to take regulatory measures as appropriate.”

On Wednesday, Beijing ordered the cancellation of six more US-to-China flights in coming weeks.

There have been around 70 cancellations so far this year between the US and China in a schedule that had already been drastically cut back.

The latest cancellations have affected two United Airlines flights from San Francisco to Shanghai and four China Southern Airline flights from Los Angeles to Guangzhou.

At time of writing, there has been no comment from The Chinese Embassy in Washington DC.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing United, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and others, said US airlines are in “communication with the US and Chinese governments to identify a path forward that minimizes impact to travelers.”

Flights between the US and China have been extremely limited during the pandemic.

Prior to the latest cancellations three US airlines and four Chinese carriers were operating about 20 flights a week between the two countries.

This is considerably less than the 100 flights per week before the pandemic.

China has also been suspending flights with other countries.

On Wednesday this included six flights in total from Canada and France.

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The number of flights from the US that have been cancelled has increased rapidly since last month due to the infectious Omicron variant.

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