Washington orders suspension of all flights by Chinese airlines into and out of the country after Beijing failed to allow American carriers to resume service to China, US Transportation Department says.
The Trump administration moved on Wednesday to block Chinese airlines from flying to the US in an escalation of trade and travel tensions between the two countries.
The US Transportation Department said it would suspend passenger flights of four Chinese airlines to and from the United States starting June 16.
The decision was a response to China’s failure to let United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resume flights this week to China, which were suspended earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic that started in China's Wuhan province.
The Transportation Department said that China was violating an agreement between the two countries covering flights by each other’s airlines.
Trump to effect order on June 16
"The Department will continue to engage our Chinese counterparts so both US and Chinese carriers can fully exercise their bilateral rights," the agency said in a statement.
"In the meantime, we will allow Chinese carriers to operate the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours."
The department said President Donald Trump could put the order into effect before June 16.
The order applies to Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co, and Hainan Airlines Holding Co.
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.