The Trump administration is banning Chinese passenger airlines from flying to the U.S. starting later this month, a move that comes as Beijing prohibits U.S. airlines to resume flights there.
The order, published Wednesday, takes effect June 16, but it could be moved up.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have been pushing to return to China after pausing service because of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, but they haven’t yet received the approvals from Chinese aviation authorities to do so.
“We support and appreciate the U.S. government’s actions to enforce our rights and ensure fairness,” Delta said in a statement. United did not immediately comment on the order.
“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,” said the U.S. Department of Transportation’s order Wednesday. “Should the [Chinese aviation authority] adjust its policies to bring about the necessary improved situation for U.S. carriers, the Department is fully prepared to revisit the action it has announced in this order.”
In March, Chinese aviation officials said Chinese airlines could keep flying one scheduled passenger flight a week, on one route to any country, a measure aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.