The Chinese Embassy in the United States assured on its website that “the covid-19 pandemic is the main reason for flight cancellations “ in the North American country due to the “personnel shortage” that it has caused among airlines. the Chinese media National Business Daily.
The diplomatic delegation noted that it has noted the “shortage problems in US airlines” due to the “fear of employees to go to work” due to the pandemic, which has caused “large-scale flight cancellations”, including some with China as a destination.
The embassy stated that it is in communication with the airlines to “find solutions” and “prevent these problems from happening again.”
Last Sunday, media such as the Honkonian South China Morning Post cited the case of a flight from Seattle to the Chinese city of Shanghai that turned halfway through “changes in the entry requirements to China,” the pilot explained. to the passengers.
Regarding this case, the embassy assured that the information that appeared in the media that blames a “ban on the entry of flights into China” for the change of course of the plane “does not correspond to reality.”
According to data from the specialized portal FlightAware, this Monday 1,424 domestic flights in the United States or with the North American country as destination or origin were canceled.
The US Skywest and the Chinese China Eastern and Air China were the airlines that canceled the most flights: 426, 421, and 198, respectively.
Seattle-Tacoma, Jakarta-Sukarno, and Beijing-Capital airports suffered the most cancellations.
The vast majority of cancellations recorded by Beijing-Capital and Shanghai-Hongqiao airports were for domestic flights.
Since his confinement for a covid outbreak last week, there have also been numerous flight cancellations with the city of Xian as the origin or destination.
The appearance of the new omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has led to an increase in containment measures and security protocols in many countries, although China has not reported significant changes in the already very strict entry requirements. since March 2020.
The country is closed to tourism and the vast majority of foreign visitors, in line with its zero-tolerance policy against the coronavirus, which requires a minimum quarantine of 14 days for any traveler, national or foreign, who enters China.
In addition, the Asian giant has restricted the issuance of new passports, which are granted only in exceptional situations, to limit the international travel of its population.
China has not confirmed any local cases of omicron, but it has confirmed several infections of this variant “imported” from other countries.
According to official data, China has accumulated 101,486 positives of the new coronavirus and 4,636 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.