China Eastern Airlines has announced the voluntary suspension of its flights between Shanghai and Manila from Friday after multiple passengers tested positive for COVID-19.
Flights MU211 and MU212 between Pudong International Airport and Manila will be halted until the airline can contain risks related to virus transmission, the Shanghai-based carrier said on Monday morning.
“China Eastern will closely monitor the situation and cautiously evaluate the risks to its flights that might carry COVID-19 cases,” the airline said.
The carrier made the announcement after nine travelers on a single flight from the Philippines tested positive for COVID-19 on September 16. They were quarantined immediately after arriving at the Pudong airport.
The flight with China Eastern has been suspended twice by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) since August.
The flight was suspended on August 17 after six passengers tested positive on arrival at the Pudong airport on an August 5 flight. The suspension was extended after nine tested positive on another flight on August 12.
According to CAAC policies, if all inbound passengers on an airline test negative for the novel coronavirus for three weeks in a row, the operating airline will be allowed to increase its number of flights to two per week.
If the number of passengers testing positive reaches five, the airline's flights will be suspended for a week. The suspension will last for four weeks if the number of passengers testing positive reaches 10.
Over a dozen flights have been suspended since the mechanism was first introduced.
Shanghai reported 12 new imported COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the Shanghai Health Commission said on Friday morning.
So far, among all 624 imported cases in the city, 574 have been discharged upon recovery and 50 are still hospitalized.
Editor: Cai Wenjun