The United States Transportation Department announced on Wednesday that Air China (601111.SS) has agreed to pay a $143,000 fine in connection with excessive tarmac delays at U.S. airports in 2018.
According to the Department of Transportation, Air China failed to assure that an international flight would not be allowed to loiter on the tarmac for more than four hours without providing passengers with an option to deplane. According to the Department of Transportation, under its $300,000 civil penalty order, Air China is required to pay $143,000 within 30 days and another $143,000 if the order is violated within a year. The airline was credited with compensating passengers to the tune of $14,000.00 dollars.
The Transportation Department stated that Air China did not agree with the manner in which the civil penalties were computed, but that the company agreed to the settlement in order to avoid going to court.
“DOT will hold airlines and ticket agents accountable when they treat consumers unfairly,” stated Polly Trottenberg, the United States Department of Transportation’s Deputy Secretary.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, Air China allowed two foreign flights to linger on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for more than five hours without allowing passengers to deplane.
Recently, the Department of Transportation suspended 44 China-bound flights from the United States by four Chinese carriers, including Air China, in response to the Chinese government’s suspension of the same number of United States carrier flights following the discovery of COVID-19 in some of the passengers who had travelled on those flights.
Since December 31, Chinese officials have grounded 20 flights operated by United Airlines, 10 by American Airlines, and 14 by Delta Air Lines after some passengers tested positive for the virus COVID-19, according to reports.