Beijing, Guangzhou airports see large-scale flight cancellations amid surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide
Published: Nov 09, 2022 10:29 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Airports across the country saw widespread flight cancellations on Wednesday, with some airports even reaching a flight cancellation rate of 98 percent, according to flight information provider Flight Master. The local health authorities also announced that eight districts in Guangzhou will temporarily suspend offline classes. The measures are seen as a response to the mounting pressure of COVID-19 cases nationwide.

As of 10:00 am on Wednesday, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport in South China’s Guangdong Province had cancelled 1,163 flights, with a cancellation rate of 89 percent. Two major airports in Beijing also had widespread flight cancellations, with 718 and 767 flights cancelled at Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport respectively, amounting to cancellation rates of 75 percent and 86 percent.

The number of infections has risen sharply across the country, with 1,294 new local confirmed cases and 6,882 asymptomatic infections reported on Tuesday, according to the National Health Commission. The epidemic prevention and control measures across the country are facing severe challenges. 

Guangdong Province, which currently has the most cases in the country, reported 592 new locally confirmed cases and 2,611 new asymptomatic infections on Tuesday. There have been 32 local confirmed cases in Beijing in the latest outbreak, with another 48 asymptomatic cases under medical observation.

In response to the spread of the virus, primary and secondary schools and off-campus training institutions in Guangzhou will suspend offline teaching and universities will implement closed-off management, read the statement from local authorities.

Universities and relevant departments in Guangzhou will properly arrange the study and life of the teachers and students who are temporarily detained at school, carry out nucleic acid testing as required, and further explain the relevant policies to those at school.

In addition to Guangzhou and Beijing, Hohhot in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province are facing pressure from the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases with in- and outbound flight cancellations at airports in the cities reaching nearly 100 percent, according to Flight Master.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China operated nearly 31,000 flights last week, with an average daily flight volume of 4,435, up 15.5 percent from the previous week, but down 53.6 percent from 2021 and 69.3 percent from 2019. The flight operation rate was only about 27.9 percent, according to Flight Master.