In a recent spat between the two biggest aviation markets in the world, USA and China had restricted each other’s airlines to fly in or out of their airports. In a recent report, however, the USA government has agreed that it shall allow Chinese airlines four flights a week to the USA. This announcement came following China’s statement saying it would permit the same number of operations by American carriers in China. Thus, after weeks of diplomatic wrangling on commercial operations between the two giants, the USA Transportation Department issued an order on June 15, 2020 (Monday), which shall again ameliorate the operations permitted to and from the USA by China-based carriers, and vice-versa.
Early last month, the USA had threatened to cease all operations to and from China if the Chinese government did not stop blocking American carriers. The three big airlines based in USA – Delta, United and American, had halted flights to China earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but were not permitted fully by China to resume operations to original strength. However, both sides now have gradually expanded the operations.
Delta Airlines plans to resume operations to Shanghai from Detroit and Seattle. American Airlines has stated their interest to begin flying to China later in the year. United Airlines, on the other hand, has plans to resume three routes to China immediately. The Transportation Department has mentioned that it is seeking a return to pre-pandemic flight operation levels at the earliest and to facilitate the same, it would grant additional flights to Chinese airlines if and when the nation relaxes restrictions on USA based carriers.
In January 2020, approximately 325 flights operated weekly between these two countries, a number that fell to just above 20 per week by four Chinese airlines in the following month.
The U.S. Transportation Department said in a statement:
‘We welcome this action by the Chinese government, as an important first step to fully restore air travel.’
It is important for global aviation entities and governments to collaborate and cooperate so as to restore air travel to its original strength at the earliest. It is indeed great to see the giants like China and USA to open more corridors for commercial aviation. We hope the passenger loads keep up for airlines to make this possible!