June 22, 2020 / 1:50 PM / 18 days ago

Delta to resume flights between U.S. and China

FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

(Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) said on Monday it would resume flights between Seattle and Shanghai on June 25, making it the first U.S. airline to restart operations between the United States and China after flights were suspended in February due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The flights will operate twice a week in June and once a week starting July from Seattle and Detroit, Delta said. (bit.ly/2YqmLCR)

Last week, the U.S. Transportation Department said the United States and China would each allow four weekly flights between the two countries, easing the standoff on travel restrictions in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

However, the United States on Friday rejected a request by Chinese airlines for additional weekly flights between the two countries, but said the decision was not meant to escalate tensions over travel restrictions.

United Airlines (UAL.O) had also said it was looking to re-launch flights to China in the coming weeks.

Delta, which added 100 domestic flights in June as state-wide lockdowns were lifted, has said it expects to end the year with $10 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

Shares of the company were down 1.3% at $29.11 in morning trade.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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