A China Southern Airlines flight from Dhaka to Guangzhou will be suspended for four weeks from June 22 due to concerns about COVID-19 infections, China's aviation regulator said on Sunday.
Seventeen passengers on a June 11 flight from the Bangladeshi capital to the southern Chinese city tested positive for the coronavirus, meeting the conditions for a "circuit breaker" suspension of the service, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in a statement.
China reported 19 new confirmed cases involving travellers from overseas for June 13, with 17 of them arriving in Guangdong province. According to CAAC policy, if all inbound passengers of an airline test negative for the coronavirus for three weeks in a row, the concerned airline will be allowed to increase its number of flights to two per week.
If the number of passengers testing positive reaches five, the airline's flights will be suspended for a week. The suspension will last four weeks if the number of passengers testing positive reaches 10.
Data from the CAAC demonstrated that China's airline industry showed signs of recovery in May as airlines flew a total of 25.83 million passengers last month, down 52.6 per cent year on year, but with the decline narrowing 15.9 percentage points from April.
In early June, the CAAC said it would allow more foreign carriers to operate flights into the country based on the premise that the risks related to COVID-19 are controllable, stressing that flight incentives and "circuit-breaker" measures will be also implemented from June 8.
(With inputs from Reuters)