The US announced on Wednesday that it intends to block Chinese airlines from operating in the country.
Both United Airlines and Delta Air Lines won approval to halt flights to 11 airports.
A United States ban on flights wouldn't hurt Air China too badly given its limited exposure to the market, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Teo said, noting that only 6.5 per cent of the carrier's 2019 revenue came from North American routes.
The move came a day after the US Department of Transportation said it would ban Chinese passenger carriers from flying in and out of the US in an effort to punish China for shutting American airlines out of the country.
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In March, Chinese aviation officials stated that flights from China to the U.S. would be limited to once per week per carrier. Meanwhile, the United States reported 20,578 new cases on the same day with more than 1.8 million active cases in the country.
China on Thursday said it would allow foreign airlines now blocked from operating in the country over coronavirus concerns to resume limited flights, lifting a de facto ban on USA carriers.
China already allowed flights from some foreign airlines under a policy introduced in March that limited them to one flight a week and didn't allow them to operate more services than they had scheduled on March 12. The Chinese restrictions became a problem only in recent weeks, as Delta and United sought to resume flights to China in early June. U.S. transportation officials argued that this was a violation of a 40-year-old agreement regarding flights between the two countries and that the rules should apply equally to both countries.
In response to China's approved security legislation - which has not been implemented as of yet - Donald Trump said he would begin revoking Hong Kong's special trade status with the US. Another user sarcastically noted, "How friendly [of Trump] to pass up on the largest consumer market and spare us from the impact of an epidemic and riots, Trump is working hard".
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According to aviation analytics firm OAG, the number of flights into China dropped from 1,340 in January to 69 in April. It will apply to Chinese airlines Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Hainan Airlines.
The CAAC also said all airlines will be allowed to increase the number of worldwide flights involving China to two per week if no incoming passengers on their flights test positive for COVID-19 for three consecutive weeks.
If the number of passengers testing positive reaches five, the airline's flights will be suspended for a week.
Hong Kong and Macau, though part of China, have their own aviation authorities and set their own rules.
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