China Eastern Airlines on Wednesday asked US authorities for approval to temporarily divert New York to Shanghai flights over Covid-19 outbreaks.
The carrier said it had been instructed by Chinese aviation officials “to divert Shanghai-bound passenger flights arriving from the US to certain alternate airports in China”.
China Eastern asked the Federal Aviation Administration for approval starting March 31 to move existing twice-weekly Shanghai westbound passenger flights from New York to Fuzhou’s Changle International Airport until the end of April.
The Chinese aviation regulator said on Tuesday it would divert 106 international flights scheduled to arrive in Shanghai to other domestic cities from March 21 to May 1 due to more Covid-19 outbreaks.
Widespread Covid-19 Outbreaks
The flights include those operated by Air China, China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines, Juneyao Air and Spring Airlines, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.
Shanghai, which reported 205 new domestically transmitted positive cases on Tuesday, said on Wednesday it has identified some key areas and would test all people in those areas twice this week.
Tesla said it would suspend production at its Shanghai factory on Wednesday and Thursday, according to a notice sent internally and to suppliers, while the notice did not give a reason for the stoppage.
Volkswagen Group China said it would resume production in Shanghai on Thursday after a 48-hour suspension due to the Covid-19 outbreaks.
The German carmaker said on Wednesday it would as a precautionary measure pause production for another day at its Changchun facility, also due to Covid-19 outbreaks.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell