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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

International Flights Keep Flying Back to China

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Xiamen, China, will once again be served by Singapore Airlines’ SQ868/SQ869 aircraft, the airline stated on October 12.

The Singapore Airlines Group, which consists of Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, and Scoot Air, will operate up to 14 flights per week between Singapore and China after this operation is resumed.

Chinese authorities are loosening restrictions on international flights, and as a result, numerous airlines have resumed service and opened new routes into and out of China.

China shortened the required quarantine period from 14+ days to 7 days in May. From the first absolute proven Covid-19 cases to a proportion of all passengers on a flight, the Chinese authority revised the fusing method for international flights in August.

The modification considerably decreased the likelihood that an aircraft would approach the threshold necessary to initiate fusing. The “one country, one flight” restriction was also lifted by the authorities, allowing additional carriers and international flights to return to China.

The cap on the overall number of flights between China and another nation is still in place, but it has been greatly loosened compared to earlier customs.

Several international flights from China to Asia and Europe began service in September.

The third and fourth flights between Dubai and Guangzhou by Emirates have begun, and numerous routes between Japan and Beijing, Shenyang, and Dalian have been announced by Japan Airlines and ANA.

Additionally, Chinese airlines started operating again in Central Asia, Europe, and other places.

As a result of this speedy rebound, airfares into and out of China fell quickly. A one-way airfare from Europe to China, which used to cost over $5,000, is now occasionally less than $1,000.

The Covid-19 test price was reduced as a result of the increased passenger volume. The Helsinki Airport Covid-19 testing organization announced in October that it would lower the cost for transit passengers from 500 EUR per test to 280 EUR per test.

Although lower costs are undoubtedly a plus for travelers, the expense of quarantine once in China remains basically unchanged.

Passengers are using Hong Kong as a transit point to travel to the Chinese Mainland as Hong Kong relaxes its travel restrictions for visitors from other countries.

There are now well over 100 flights a week from Hong Kong to the Mainland, up from a dozen weekly.

A 3-day self-health monitor in Hong Kong is required prior to boarding a flight to the Mainland when traveling from Hong Kong.

At this time, it’s uncertain whether China will ever have the opportunity to further relax its travel restrictions.

The Chinese government is still preoccupied with the failed Zero-Covid policy and making no mention of additional steps or a timeline for completely lifting all Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Chinese authorities have been petitioned to revoke the mandatory quarantine and the international flight fusing measures by a number of foreign embassies and multinational enterprises.

The government may gradually relax the limitations to boost economic activity if the Chinese economy continues to deteriorate as a result of the Zero-Covid policy.

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