Q&As: China to Only Allow ONE Flight In/Out Weekly!

Source: OT-Team (AFJ), the CAAC

On March 26, the Civil Aviation Administration of China issued a notice on further reducing international passenger flights from March 29. The announcement includes that each Chinese airline is only allowed to maintain one route to any specific country with no more than one flight per week; each foreign airline is only allowed to maintain one route to China with no more than one weekly flight. And those measures may greatly reduce the spread of the COVID-19.

The Notice Issued by CAAC

Risks Existing in Long-Haul Flights

In an interview, the head of the CAAC interpreted the notice.

Q1: At this moment, what is the basis for CAAC to further reduce international passenger flights?

A1Recently, the number of imported cases maintains double-digit growth for consecutive days, which is a huge challenge to the domestic epidemic prevention and control. Therefore, we decided to further reduce the number of international passenger flights by a large margin based on the comprehensive consideration of all aspects, and only maintain the minimum number of flights on each route to ensure the continuous traffic of the countries with air traffic.

Q2After the implementation of the notice, how many international flights and daily arrivals will be reduced?

A2Under this measure, the number of the weekly flights will be reduced to about 130. And also, in order to prevent over-crowded passengers on board, we also require all Chinese and foreign airlines to ensure a less-than-75% passenger load on the flights either arriving or leaving China are occupied. It is estimated that the number of passengers entering China by air every day will be reduced from the current 25,000 to about 5,000.

Q3What policies did CAAC put in place in the early stage to prevent the import of overseas epidemic?

A3With the rapid development and changes of the pandemic, first of all, China has taken temperature screening on high-risk flights before boarding and during the flight. According to the statistics, from March 19 to 25, 312 passengers with fever were refused boarding by domestic airlines, and 1,182 suspicious passengers were quarantined in the isolation zone on the plane and transferred to customs upon landing immediately. Second, we require each airline in China to keep reducing the number of flights on each route. The third is to divert all flights of all nationalities from Beijing Capital Airport; and fourth is that the CAAC has suspended all official charter flights to China from 24 March.

Q4What will CAAC do in the next step to prevent the import of overseas epidemic?

A4We will pay close attention to the situation of the epidemic abroad and take further measures to manage the total number of international flights. Besides, per the current implementation of the measures, it is proved that there are certain risks existing in the long-distance flights, so we strongly suggest all travelers think it over and then make a prudent, thoughtful, calm decision on whether to fly or not based on their own situations.