Sharp decrease of inbound passengers via international flights
The number of inbound passengers on international flights to Shanghai will be reduced from Sunday as airlines cut international routes.
China's civil aviation regulator has issued a circular to cut international flights as part of efforts to stem the inflow of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
All domestic airlines are allowed to operate only one flight to each country per week, while foreign aviation companies will keep only one route to China and there should be no more than one flight per week for each, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a circular that will be effective from Sunday.
CAAC also said that passenger load on each flight must be below 75 percent. Further cuts of the number of flights may be necessary.
Imported COVID-19 cases into China have passed 650. In Shanghai, 17 new imported cases were reported on Friday, bringing the total to 146.
CAAC estimates the number of inbound passengers on international flights will be reduced to 5,000 per day from 25,000 currently.
The number of inbound international flights to Shanghai is expected to sharply decrease to about 35 flights per week from over 2,000 per week.
About 6,000 passengers are expected to arrive in the city on international flights from abroad per week, compared with 70,000 normally.
From Sunday, Shanghai-based China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines, the biggest carriers of international flights to the city, will only retain flights to 19 foreign cities, including New York, Toronto and Paris.
Spring Airlines will keep four international routes between Shanghai and Tokyo, Jeju, Bangkok and Phnom Penh.
Juneyao Airlines has decided to keep four international flights between Shanghai and Helsinki, Osaka, Bangkok and Singapore.
Air China will fly Shanghai-Frankfurt, Shanghai-London, Shanghai-Bangkok, Shanghai-Osaka and Shanghai-Singapore.
China Southern will keep flying between international destinations and its base airports in south Guangzhou.
Nine foreign carriers are still operating flights to Shanghai. They include Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. They have yet to announce their adjustment plan after the CAAC stipulation. Many of them are expected to retain their only links with Beijing.