Drop in international flights, diversions handled well, authority says
China has so far seen a smooth operation while diverting international flights due to arrive in Beijing to other airports as their first port of entry, according to the country’s civil aviation authority.
As of Wednesday, a total of 106 flights bound for Beijing have been diverted to 12 designated airports, with about 84 percent of the 24,651 passengers failing to pass the health and quarantine inspection and staying in the entry cities for a 14-day isolation, said Ma Bing, chief of the administration’s Operation Monitoring Center.
Since March 20, international flights to Beijing have been diverted to a dozen cities and provinces including Shanghai, Tianjin and Shandong province, where all passengers must be tested for the virus upon disembarking and before those cleared of the pathogen are allowed to reboard the aircraft to the capital.
The airport in Tianjin handled the largest number of diverted flights so far with 30, followed by airports in Qingdao, Shandong province, and Hohhot, Inner Mongolian autonomous region, which handled 15 and 14 diverted flights respectively, he added.
Ma also noted the country has seen a drop in the number of international flights after the aviation regulator rolled out orders cutting down flights in and out of the country to curtail the rising number of imported cases of the novel coronavirus.
The number of weekly international flights stands at 108 between March 29 and April 4, with 88 flights operated by 18 domestic airlines and 20 flights operated by 12 overseas carriers, he said, adding the US, Thailand, Cambodia and Japan are among the top four countries of departure.
According to the administration, except for Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, the hardest-hit region in the country, all passenger and cargo flights on domestic air routes via airports in Hubei were resumed March 29.
By Wednesday, airports in Hubei’s Yichang, Xiangyang, Shiyan and Enshi have operated a total of 377 flights and handled 26,423 passenger trips.