The US government has announced the suspension of all flights by Chinese airlines into and out of the country from June 16, news agency AFP quoted the US Transportation Department as saying on Wednesday.
The US action, which takes effect June 16 but could be implemented sooner if President Donald Trump orders it, applied to seven Chinese civilian carriers, although only four currently are running services to US cities including Air China and China Eastern Airlines, the Department of Transportation (DOT) said.
“US carriers have asked to resume passenger service, beginning June 1st. The Chinese government’s failure to approve their requests is a violation of our Air Transport Agreement,” the department said in a statement.
US air carriers sharply reduced or suspended service to China amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Led by the US, several countries in the world have blamed China for the spread of coronavirus and its failure to provide timely information about the disease, leading to the death of over three lakh people and causing an unprecedented economic crisis.
Trump has been pressing China to agree for an inquiry into the origin of the virus, including the allegation that it emerged from a bio-lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.