As of June 16, President Donald Trump’s administration will bar all passenger planes originating in China from entry to the U.S. The order, announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, applies to Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co, Hainan Airlines Holding Co, Sichuan Airlines Co, and Xiamen Airlines Co. Despite the agreement to restrict travel, airlines have continued to regularly ferry passengers from the origin point of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, both Delta and United have requested permission to resume flights to China, though the country “remains unable” to say when it will “allow U.S. carriers to reinstate scheduled passenger flights,” according to a formal order signed by the Transportation Department top aviation official Joel Szabat. In a statement on Wednesday, Delta said “we support and appreciate the U.S. government’s actions to enforce our rights and ensure fairness,” while United said it looks forward to resuming passenger service between the United States and China “when the regulatory environment allows us to do so.” The decision will enforce a level of parity between both sides, eliminating the lopsided permissions currently in effect. “We will allow Chinese carriers to operate the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours,” the department said in a separate statement. Additionally, China will no longer be allowed to use charter flights to “further [increase] their advantage over U.S. carriers in providing U.S.-China passenger services.”
This is smart, and in our best interests. Kudos to the Administration for putting our health and safety first.