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Etihad slapped with temporary ban from flying to China

written by Hannah Dowling | August 27, 2020

An Airbus A320 takes off from Almaty International Airport, Kazakhstan (Source: Australian Aviation archives)

Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad has been slapped with an additional one-week ban on flying into China, after five passengers onboard a flight to Shanghai tested positive for COVID-19.

The Chinese government has announced that the UAE flag carrier will have its Abu Dhabi to Shanghai route suspended from 24 August.

The new ban extends upon a previous one enforced by China on 17 August, after six passengers travelling onboard an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi tested positive for the coronavirus.

The airline currently only runs one service between the UAE and Shanghai per week.

Etihad is not the only carrier facing temporary flight bans in China, as the Chinese government ramps up its attempts to limit the number of imported COVID-19 cases brought into the country.

China Eastern has been banned from operating its flight MU212 from Manila to Shanghai for one week, after six passengers tested positive on board this flight on 3 August.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Airlines flight UL866 from Colombo to Shanghai currently faces a four-week ban, following 23 positive COVID tests that were reported from one flight on 7 August.


Etihad Airways said in response to the flight suspension that it would require all passengers travelling to Shanghai to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of travel. 

The airline currently requires all passengers to present a negative test certificate, however can be within 96 hours of travel to all other destinations.

Flights to China continue to be heavily monitored as the government cracks down on imported cases, with civil aviation regulators labelling flight controls and similar interventions as “circuit breaking measures” to limit the spread of COVID-19.


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