Chinese Embassy in U.K. Charters Flight for Fleeing Students
What’s new: The Chinese embassy in the U.K. is chartering a plane to bring home Chinese students attempting to flee the country’s Covid-19 outbreak, Caixin has learned from their families.
The chartered flight, which will depart London on April 2 for the city of Jinan in East China’s Shandong province, will accommodate “less than 200 people,” and is available only to Chinese students under the age of 18, who must travel at their own expense, several families who were notified by the embassy in recent days told Caixin.
Parents were not allowed to accompany their children onboard, and must sign waivers regarding risks of infection their kids may face on their journey.
The background: The evacuation comes as the Civil Aviation Administration of China has drastically cut the number of flights to and from China by domestic and foreign airlines.
Some 166 families of students in the U.K. who were not able to secure flights home had petitioned the embassy and China’s foreign ministry in mid-March to ask for charter planes.
According to a March 18 television interview with Liu Xiangming, the Chinese ambassador to the U.K., around 15,000 Chinese kids are studying in the U.K.
A Chinese embassy employee in the U.K. declined to confirm that the flight was taking place.
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