Wuhan-Beijing commercial flights restart
Commercial air travel between Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province and Beijing has resumed as China Southern operated the first flight on Tuesday since the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Flights between Wuhan and Beijing were suspended after the lockdown of the central Chinese city on January 23 due to the epidemic.
China Southern’s CZ3139, the first resumed flight, took off from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport at around 4pm on Tuesday and landed at Beijing Daxing International Airport at around 8pm.
The flight route was reopened after Wuhan was listed as a “backup” first entry port for international flights bound for Beijing.
Incoming international flights to Beijing must land at one of 16 designated airports, where passengers are screened. Passengers who test negative for the coronavirus are then permitted to reboard the plane to Beijing.
Shanghai has been dropped as one of the first ports.
The revised list of airports includes those in Chengdu, Changsha, Hefei, Lanzhou, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Hohhot, Jinan, Qingdao, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Zhengzhou and Xi’an, with Wuhan as a backup.
The number of domestic flights to and from Hubei has been restored to nearly half of that of 2019, according to China Southern, one of the country's major carriers.
Since the lockdown ended on April 8, China Southern has operated 2,616 flights out of Hubei. Over 460 flights are being operated regularly in the central Chinese province.
The Guangzhou-based carrier has also opened a new route for freight between Wuhan and London. The service operated by Boeing 787 wide-body aircraft is expected to cap rising export demands from Hubei companies, the airline said.
The airline plans to resume flights between Wuhan and Urumqi in Xinjiang this month, while additional flights will be deployed from Wuhan to Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Hangzhou and Hankou.
The resumed Wuhan-Beijing flight also marks China Southern's official transfer of service from the Capital International Airport to Daxing.