March 26, 2020 / 12:47 PM / 12 days ago

China to significantly reduce international flights amid virus concerns

Passengers wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen on a Shanghai Airlines aircraft at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, China March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s aviation regulator on Thursday asked domestic airlines to reduce their international routes to only one per country while capping the number of flights to no more than one flight per week.

Foreign airlines are also asked to limit the number of flights to China to no more than one flight per week, said the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Airlines are required to cap the passenger load factors on inbound and outbound flights at 75% to curb the contagion risks, said the CAAC, adding that they’re now allowed to use passenger aircraft for cargo-only flights.

All new measures on the latest flight reductions will take effect from March 29.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Se Young Lee; Editing by Toby Chopra

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