Chinese airlines to resume flight operations after covid-19 blackout
Grounded Chinese airlines are looking to resume flight services, citing an improvement in the coronavirus situation within China. However, it is still a slow rollout and it may take months for the network of routes to return to normal.
Over 200,000 flights had been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, with two-thirds of China’s scheduled flights affected. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently put the losses at about $30 billion.
According to a report by Flight Global, a few mainline carriers in China have revealed plans to start reopening closed routes. It seems that with the situation improving in China – the virus spread is slowing and the government is confident that its steps will contain the virus – airlines have started to make plans to resume routes.
“The novel coronavirus outbreak is under control and the general situation is improving after no new cases were registered in 14 of China’s 34 provinces and autonomous regions,” the country’s health commission said.
The airlines in question that are making plans are: Air China, China Eastern, and Low-cost carrier Spring Airlines. Other Chinese airlines, such as China Southern and Hai nan Airlines have not yet revealed any restart plans.
In terms of international routes, Air China intends to restart its Frankfurt to Chengdu route by February 28, while China Eastern will begin operation to two Myanmar cities, Yangon and Mandalay, by February 25. Both airlines also intend to slowly roll out up to 800 cancelled domestic services to help link families and other trapped people around the nation.
These services are not at maximum capacity either. The Frankfurt route by Air China normally operates three times a week but will only begin with two smaller A330-200s twice a week from the 29th. The carrier also served many other international cities from its hub in Chengdu, such as Paris and Sydney, but has not made any plans to restart those services.
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