China said Thursday it would allow more foreign airlines to run flights into the country, a day after the U.S. said it would bar inbound Chinese passenger flights by June 16 in retaliation for Beijing’s restrictions.
The U.S. Department of Transportation will issue a revised order that will allow some Chinese carriers to continue service, Reuters cited government officials as saying.
China effectively prohibited major U.S. airlines from flying into the country on March 26 to stop the spread of coronavirus within its borders.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transit said that it would allow Chinese carriers to fly the same number of flights into the States as U.S. carriers were allowed to fly into China. The move would have stopped what is currently four weekly roundtrip flights by four Chinese airlines.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said Thursday that U.S. carriers may now fly once a week to a list of approved Chinese cities starting from June 8.
Airlines may increase the number to two a week if none of their passengers test positive for coronavirus for three consecutive weeks. Airlines will be banned for a week if five or more passengers on a single flight test positive on arrival, and suspended for four weeks if 10 or more passengers do, it added.
One or two flights a week is still significantly fewer flights than the number American authorities say existing agreements on international travel between the two countries dictate.
It is also fewer than the two or three daily flights that United Airlines and Delta Air Lines had previously asked Beijing to approve by this month. According to Reuters, American Airlines does not plan to resume China service until the fall.