Daily Management Review

China Cancels More Flights From The US Over Covid Scare


China Cancels More Flights From The US Over Covid Scare
After a spike in passengers testing positive for Covid-19, China ordered the cancellation of six more US flights in the coming weeks on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cancellations this year to 70 in a schedule that had already been substantially reduced.
After seven passengers tested positive on a recent flight, the aviation regulator announced it will restrict two United Airlines flights from San Francisco to Shanghai beginning the week of Jan. 24.
From the week of Jan. 31, it will also stop four China Southern Airlines (600029.SS) flights from Los Angeles to Guangzhou, affecting return flights in February.
Before to the most recent cancellations, three US airlines and four Chinese airlines were operating roughly 20 flights per week between the two nations, far less than the more than 100 flights per week that existed prior to the pandemic.
Other countries' routes have also been suspended by China. Six planes from France and Canada were canceled on Wednesday.
However, the number of US planes canceled has increased dramatically since December, as infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron variety reach new highs in the US.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Beijing and Washington have fought over air services.
After Beijing placed similar restrictions on four United Airlines flights, the US Department of Transportation prohibited four Chinese carriers' flights to 40% passenger capacity for four weeks in August.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), China has effectively closed its borders to foreign travelers, reducing total international flights to just 200 per week, or 2 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Analysts believe that while the strategy, which is virtually a zero-Covid-19 policy, has slowed its spread in China, where it first appeared two years ago, it has also put the country vulnerable to more economic disruptions as it tries to contain local flare-ups.
Travelers, particularly Chinese who are trying to return home, have been forced to scurry for pricey tickets, assuming they can even locate them.
On Wednesday, a search of China's popular Trip.com revealed that for the rest of January, nearly no direct flights from the United States to China were available.
Delta's weekly Tuesday Seattle-Shanghai trip was selling for around 40,000 yuan ($6,285) in February.
"Now going back to China is like a Mission Impossible. More and more flights are being suspended," an annoyed Chinese user of social media platform Weibo posted on Tuesday.
"Piss off, Omicron. I haven't been back home for two years now."