SOURCE / COMPANIES
China has not stopped flights from India: insider
Published: Dec 28, 2020 09:36 PM

A cargo aircraft of Sichuan Airlines arrives at Nantong Xingdong International Airport, East China's Jiangsu Province, from Mumbai, India, on Monday. The plane carries 33.6 tons of goods to Osaka, Japan. It represents the airport's first global cargo air route connecting Mumbai, Nantong and Osaka. The first shipment includes textile products, suitcases, toys and electronic components. Photo: VCG



China has not stopped air services between China and India, and the passenger flights between the two countries have been operating normally recently, an industry insider said on Monday, after Indian media reports said that China had banned entry following a surge of COVID-19 cases in India.

The number of flights from India to China was on average eight per week from December 1 to 27, and the routes are all operated by Chinese carriers including Kunming Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Shandong Airlines, data from industry information provider VariFlight showed on Monday. 

The passenger flights between China and India have been operating normally recently and there has been no ban, Zheng Hongfeng, CEO of industry information provider VariFlight told the Global Times on Monday. 

His remarks came after indiatimes.com reported that China had suspended all flights from India in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the country.

Zheng explained that Indian airlines have had a low traffic flow on China-India routes for years, and the epidemic has increased this situation. The reason why there have not been flights by Indian carriers is that the Indian airlines voluntarily stopped them, he added. 

VariFlight data showed that there were about 563 flights from India to China from January 1 to December 27, and the peak period was in January with 279 flights. Then the flights dropped back sharply amid the COVID-19 epidemic, with a record low of only five flights in April. 

Although Chinese carriers have most of the market, there are still Indian carriers including Air India and Indigo Airlines that fly between the two countries. 

On November 2, Wuhan, the capital city of Central China's Hubei Province, reported 23 COVID-19 infections imported from India, all of whom were Indian nationals on the same flight. 

The Chinese Embassy in India said on November 5 that China had decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals in India holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the embassy said foreigners holding Chinese diplomatic, service, courtesy and C visas are not affected.


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