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US suspends 44 passenger flights to China operated by Chinese carriers

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            The United States announced on Friday that it would suspend 44 Chinese passenger flights from the United States to the Asian giant in response to Beijing's restrictive measures on US airlines under its Covid-19 protocols.
China maintains strict controls on border entry, including curtailed flights and a
US suspends 44 passenger flights to China operated by Chinese carriers

The United States announced on Friday that it would suspend 44 Chinese passenger flights from the United States to the Asian giant in response to Beijing’s restrictive measures on US airlines under its Covid-19 protocols.

China maintains strict controls on border entry, including curtailed flights and a “circuit breaker” policy in which routes are stopped if too many infections are introduced on flights.

China‘s aviation authority used the circuit breaker policy to cancel flights by American, Delta and United airlines when passengers who tested negative for Covid before takeoff tested positive once they arrived in China.

The US Department of Transportation wrote in its order Friday that “actions that impair the operations of Delta, American and United, as described above, are adverse to the public interest and warrant proportionate corrective action by the Department”.

US carriers, which are following all relevant Chinese regulations regarding pre-departure and in-flight protocols, should not be penalized if passengers, after arrival, later test positive for COVID-19,” he said. .

The 44 flights are operated by Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines and are scheduled to depart between January 30 and March 29.

The move comes less than three weeks before Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics.

The Chinese capital has already suspended thousands of flights and ramped up testing after the city recorded its first community case of the Omicron variant last weekend.

Chinese officials have pursued a strict “Covid Zero” approach with tight border restrictions and targeted lockdowns, a strategy that has come under pressure as multiple clusters have broken out across the country ahead of next month’s Games.

Source Credit: TheGuardian

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