2022-01-13 18:22

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142 Flights Canceled in 1 Week as Omicron Hits China

Source: OT-Team(S,J),Sina


In the past week since January 6, 2022, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has issued suspension instructions on international flights almost every day.



A total of 41 flights have been suspended, and 142 subsequent flights on the same routes are to be canceled. The number of suspended flights has increased significantly.

According to the data of the Civil Aviation Administration, a total of 272 flights were canceled due to the suspension instructions in the whole year of 2020; it means that the number of flights canceled in the first 2 weeks of 2022 have already reached half of the total in 2020.


Extra-long suspension on 2 flights from US


Yicai, One of the most influential financial media in Chinareported that, for flights between China and US, which are already in short supply, almost half of the flights were suspended in January, and nearly 25% of the flights are already on the suspension schedule for February.


In the past week, flight CA988 (Los Angeles-Tianjin, Air China) and flight CZ328 (Los Angeles-Guangzhou, China Southern Airlines) have both been given Extra-long suspension instructions.


All CA988 flights before the end of February will be canceled, and the CZ328 flights for every Tuesday will be canceled until the end of March.


It is the new record with the Extra-long suspension instructions issued by CCAC.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration, "Extra-long suspension" means that if the number of positive passengers on two consecutive inbound flights reaches 10, then the flights will be immediately suspended for 8 weeks. And the suspension will be carried out immediately.





New Problems with Omicron


According to Baidu's real-time epidemic data, from January 1 to 10, 2022, the number of newly imported COVID cases in China had reached 631, which is 3.7 times that of the same period in November 2021 and 2.6 times that of the same period in December 2021.


Although stricter boarding requirements have been imposed, it is still unable to reduce the number of passengers who are diagnosed after the flights had landed.

Take Etihad Airways as an example. For taking flights of Etihad Airways to China, in addition to providing the 48-hour nucleic acid testing reports required by the embassy and obtaining the "green health code", passengers also need to follow the requirements of Etihad Airways by taking a nucleic acid test 6 hours before departure. 


Once a positive case is found, the companions of the case will be rejected for boarding the plane as well.

This "extremely strict" requirement of Etihad Airways aims to to reduce the possibility of passengers on the same planes being infected, and it allowed Etihad Airways to operate flight to China smoothly in the past 38 weeks.

However, the 38-week good record ended during the first week of 2022: due to the 9 positive passengers on the flight entering China on January 3. The flight of Etihad Airways will get suspended for two weeks from January 24 on.

"Compared with the Delta strain, the virus load of the Omicron variant strain is very low in the early stage, and it is not easy to be detected; once after the incubation period, it is easy to reflect. This explains why the test reports of passengers before boarding looked normal, and more and more imported positive cases are found after flying to China for a few days. An Etihad Airways staff member said.

In order to prevent more subsequent flights from being suspended, Etihad Airways even made a decision to voluntarily cancel flights for two weeks before the 24th.


"The reason for this decision is to avoid the risk of Extra-long suspension", the above-mentioned person told reporters, "Sacrificing two weeks of flights to ensure the normal operation of the next eight weeks. The company needs time to deal with new changes."








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