The Trump administration announced on Wednesday, that it is banning Chinese passenger flights into the US effective mid June. The move is in retaliation to China’s ban which prevents US flights from entering  the US despite the readiness by Delta and United Airlines to resume operations in the Asian country.

The new ban will affect Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Xiamen airlines. A Department of Transportation spokesman said the ban doesn’t affect flights from Hong Kong.

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Delta Airlines and United Airlines suspended flights to China amidst rising Coronavirus tensions. The airlines have been pushing to resume flights to China but Chinese aviation officials are yet to grant their requests to reopen operations.

In a statement, Delta Airlines announced that it is supporting the move by the Trump administration to push for their interests.

“We support and appreciate the U.S. government’s actions to enforce our rights and ensure fairness,” part of the statement read.

The US  Department of Transportation said the ban is not to escalate the situation but to ensure an ” improved environment” for both countries to operate.

“Our overriding goal is not the perpetuation of this situation, but rather an improved environment wherein the carriers of both parties will be able to exercise fully their bilateral rights,” the order from the Department of Transportation said.

“We look forward to resuming passenger service between the United States and China when the regulatory environment allows us to do so,” United Airlines said in a response to the developments.

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