China Extends Ban on U.K. Flights
What’s new: The Civil Aviation Administration of China has extended a ban on flights to and from the U.K. due to Covid-19 concerns, the authority announced (link in Chinese) on Sunday.
The move comes after an original two-week suspension effective Dec. 27 last year was set to expire. Days before the original notice, Chinese airlines including China Southern Airlines halted flights between the two countries after a flare-up in coronavirus cases in the U.K.
The aviation regulator did not provide an end date for the ban under the latest extension.
What’s the background: Before the suspension, there were eight weekly direct round-trip flights between China and the U.K. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic each were operating two flights a week, while Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Capital Airlines were each flying once a week.
On Jan. 1, Shanghai reported the first imported case of a more transmissible Covid-19 variant originally discovered in the U.K., involving a 23-year-old Chinese student who returned from Britain on Dec. 14.
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