The US government said on Friday it would suspend 44 China-bound flights from the United States by four Chinese carriers in response to the Chinese government's decision to suspend some US carrier flights over Covid-19 concerns.
The suspensions will begin on Jan. 30 with Xiamen Airlines' scheduled Los Angeles-to-Xiamen flight and run through March 29, the Transportation Department said.
The decision will cut some flights by Xiamen, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.
Since Dec. 31, Chinese authorities have suspended 20 United Airlines, 10 American Airlines and 14 Delta Air Lines flights, after some passengers tested positive for Covid-19. As recently as Tuesday, the Transportation Department said the Chinese government had announced new US flight cancellations.
Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said Friday the policy for international passenger flights entering China has "been applied equally to Chinese and foreign airlines in a fair, open and transparent way."
He called the US move "very unreasonable" and added "We urge the US side to stop disrupting and restricting the normal passenger flights" by Chinese airlines."