US ready to ban Chinese airlines from using Russia overflights – NYT – RT World News

US carriers would lose up to $2 billion a year in market share to unrestricted competitors

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering banning Chinese airlines from using Russian airspace to fly passengers to the United States, three officials from President Joe Biden’s administration told The New York Times on Friday. An order requiring Chinese competitors to abide by the same restrictions faced by US airlines was reportedly presented to the national security team and others last Monday.

The proposal is the result of lobbying by US air carriers, which are losing up to $2 billion a year in market share to foreign competitors not subject to the ban on flying over Russian territory, according to industry trade group Airlines. for America. A spokeswoman for the group confirmed that it wants the Biden administration “Take steps to ensure that foreign carriers flying over Russia do not depart, land or transit through US airports.”

Airlines such as China Eastern, Emirates and Air India, whose home countries are not involved in the Ukrainian conflict, have experienced a business boom because they can take the shortest route without having to circumvent the vast Russian territory.

US carriers, on the other hand, have had to operate long-haul flights with dozens of empty seats in hopes of making the plane light enough to avoid refueling on the increasingly circuitous routes needed to avoid the no-go areas, air sources said. Time.

Banned from the most direct routes to Asia, US carriers have had to scrap plans to offer direct services to more than a dozen hotspots such as Tokyo, Seoul and Mumbai, abandoning those routes to competitors.

Airlines for America has sought to convince passengers who are reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars and extra hours in the air that flying over Russia is in fact dangerous. The lobby group points to the downing of MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 and the arrest of US women’s basketball star Brittney Griner at a Moscow airport last year.

However, many “safe” countries impose much harsher penalties – up to and including execution by firing squad – on foreigners caught with illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, the Dutch team tasked with finding proof of Russia’s culpability in the MH17 incident suspended its investigation last month, having been unable to produce conclusive evidence.

Last year, a court in the same country ruled that a Russian-made BUK missile shot down the plane, saying there was no “possibility of reasonable doubt whatever.”

Russia closed its airspace to US airlines last March after Washington imposed its own ban on Russian planes flying over US territory.


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