China bows to U.S. Pressure, Relaxes Flight Restrictions

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China has today relaxed its flight restrictions by agreeing to allow the U.S. and other foreign airlines to restore some China routes. This move by the Chinese government is coming barely less than 24 hours after the Trump administration threatened to block Chinese airlines from the U.S.

It looks as though the US’ action has already borne fruit.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) disclosed that it would allow foreign carriers that are currently barred from flying to China to conduct flights to a city of their choice once per week starting June 8.

The statement further said that its rules would be further relaxed to two per week if no incoming passengers to China tested positive for Covid-19 for three weeks straight.

Yesterday the Department of Transportation’s states:
“Our overriding goal is not the perpetuation of this situation, but rather an improved environment wherein the carriers of both parties will be able to exercise fully their bilateral rights, ”
“Should the [Chinese aviation authority] adjust its policies to bring about the necessarily improved situation for U.S. carriers, the Department is fully prepared to revisit the action it has announced in this order.”
the US Department of Transportation confirmed the order yesterday, it’s not due to come into force until June 16.

Meanwhile, A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation said China’s move was a positive step, though a small one, as it doesn’t restore the full level of flying U.S. airlines are seeking. A senior Trump administration official said U.S. officials considered this an “easing” of China’s position.

It’s now unclear whether the US will drop its ban on Chinese carriers into the US.

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