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  • Air China flight CA841 from Beijing lands at Vienna International Airport, Austria, Aug. 8, 2020.

    Air China flight CA841 from Beijing lands at Vienna International Airport, Austria, Aug. 8, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 2 September 2020
Opinion

Previously, the Chinese authorities adopted a policy whereby each airline could only operate a single route a week from each country.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) announced that Beijing will gradually summarize direct inbound flights to the city from Thailand, Pakistan, Canada, Greece, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, and Cambodia, starting Thursday.

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“Priority will be given to flights from countries with low risk of cross-border infection, where nucleic acid tests have been conducted,” Beijing Government spokesman Xu Hejian informed.

The authorities also warned that they will take stricter prevention and control measures for flights that arrive directly in Beijing, limiting the number of passengers per flight and the number of people who can pass through the Beijing Capital International Airport each day.

Negative COVID-19 test results before boarding will be a prerequisite for passengers of Beijing-bound flights.

If over three positive cases are detected on one of these flights, the route in question will again be diverted to the city where it had made the "health stops" in recent months.

The CAAC will continue to evaluate the international situation of the pandemic and the demand of passengers to fly to China to carry out arrangements so that other international passenger routes that have been diverted to other cities can resume their direct flights to Beijing.

Since March 23, when China practically closed its borders, the CAAC ordered the diversion of over five hundred flights to Beijing, forcing them to make a stopover in other cities in the country where the health authorities subjected passengers to health checks or 14-days quarantines before allowing them to continue the journey to the capital.

In the last six months, the Chinese authorities adopted a policy whereby each airline could only operate a single route a week from each country.

In recent weeks, CAAC has granted more weekly flights on some routes to airlines among whose passengers no cases of coronavirus are detected, although it has also penalized by reducing and even canceling the frequencies on some routes where they have flown infected.

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