Shanghai COVID Measures Target International Flights

Shanghai COVID Measures Target International Flights

Chinese authorities are telling foreign airlines they must have more empty seats on international flights when they arrive at Shanghai's Pudong airport, sources said on Thursday, as part of measures to prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases.To get more shanghai airport latest news, you can visit shine news official website.

Shanghai, China's financial hub and its most populous urban centre, is grappling with the country's largest COVID outbreak, locking down nearly all of its 26 million residents and massively disrupting daily life and business.Two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that flights arriving into Shanghai from abroad would have to have a load factor - an airline industry measure of seat occupancy - of just 40% from next Monday till the end of the month.

That compares with a previous load factor cap of 75%, as air authorities look to limit international passenger arrivals and help prevent infections spreading within planes.

The move will likely add to headaches for many travelers stranded abroad as international capacity to and from China has remained at only a fraction of its pre-COVID level. The country has stuck to a zero-COVID policy of stamping out all cases regardless of the economic costs.If they cannot get COVID under control (in Shanghai) and extend it beyond April, that's going to be very challenging for everyone," said an industry source.

The country's aviation regulator has also suspended a growing number of international flights in recent months under its "circuit breaker" system as Omicron cases surge overseas, prompting the U.S. government to retaliate and cancel flights by Chinese carriers.

International flights to Shanghai operated by domestic airlines have already been diverted to land elsewhere from March 21 to May 1, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in March.Hundreds of flights to Shanghai were cancelled on Monday amid a resurgence in the city’s Covid-19 infections, even as local authorities remained tight-lipped on the possibility of a complete lockdown of China’s commercial hub.
All inbound and outbound travellers through Shanghai’s airports and railway stations must present negative nucleic acid tests taken within 48 hours of their journeys, the city’s transport commission deputy director Wang Xiaojie said during an online press briefing, advising residents to avoid “unnecessary” travel.
About 800 arrivals and departures via Shanghai’s Pudong airport were cancelled as of 4pm on Monday, compared with 825 flights every day last month, according to VariFlight Technology, a Chinese provider of aviation data. At Hongqiao, nearly 500 services were cancelled at an airfield that handled 575 daily flights in February.
“The outbreak has sent a chill down the spines of passengers and tourism industry employees,” said Franco Feng, CEO of Shenxiaokou, a Shanghai-based travel service firm. “People are worried about a citywide lockdown in Shanghai too.”

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