What turned into a mutual relationship between the two countries began when interest in aviation from the United States to China declined due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ultimately, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines suspended their services between the two countries. The United States government eventually imposed some travel restrictions.
When Delta and United sought to resume service, they found that Chinese government restrictions would not allow this, according to the Transportation Department. However, Chinese airlines have performed limited service between the two countries.
So, the Transportation Ministry decided on Wednesday that the Chinese government violated the international travel agreement between the two countries, and said it would soon restrict Chinese flights to the United States.
Chinese officials responded on Thursday by loosening their restrictions in a way that would allow Delta and United to make one weekly round trip.
The US Department of Transportation said it still believes that the Chinese government has “harmed the operating rights of American airlines”, but will allow airlines in the country “a total of two weekly flights back and forth to and from the United States.”
The Chinese government may choose which airlines will make flights, the Chinese government said.
The Ministry of Transport said it hoped the move would lead to a “improved environment” for transportation companies in the two countries, rather than long-term restrictions.