China cancels one flight to Sri Lanka and suspends another

China has decided to cancel one flight to Sri Lanka and suspend another after some passengers were found to be infected with the coronavirus.

China Eastern Airlines’ flights from Colombo to Shanghai will be suspended for two weeks by China’s civil aviation regulator from July 26, the Shanghai Daily reported.

Flight MU232 was suspended after six passengers on another flight, MU714, from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 6, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said today.

As MU714 was the return flight for MU232, the Colombo-Shanghai flight will be suspended, while the Colombo-Kunming flight will be cancelled from next week, CAAC said.

Since May 1, the administration has slightly relaxed COVID-19 suspension rules on international flights as it seeks to facilitate more flexible capacity arrangements for airlines.

Airlines can now cap the load factor on a flight to no more than 40 percent for four weeks if more than five but less than 10 passengers on a previous flight have tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in China.

The CAAC launched its suspension rules for international passenger flights in June 2020, and updated the policy last December to further contain the spread of COVID-19.

A flight suspension will be extended from one week to two if the number of passengers testing positive reaches five. A suspension will last for four weeks if the number reaches 10.

If all of an airline’s inbound passengers test negative three weeks in a row, it will be allowed to increase flights to two per week. (Colombo Gazette)