Delta says flight to Shanghai was turned around in mid-air because of hygiene rules

A Delta Air Lines flight en route from Seattle to Shanghai was turned back mid-week as the Chinese airport introduced new cleaning regulations that could cause delays, the airline said. know in a statement Tuesday.

“The new cleaning procedures require significantly extended ground time and are not operationally feasible for Delta,” the airline said.

Details of the new hygiene regulations to be imposed at Shanghai Pudong International Airport were not immediately clear, but China has adopted increasingly strict Covid-19 travel rules amid the epidemic outbreaks are increasing in the city of Xi’an and before the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

According to Chinese news reports, the plane crashed causing the passenger to have expired Covid-19 test results and the US visa had expired. The Chinese consulate in San Francisco, which did not name Delta, said in a statement that it “has taken a stern representation of the airline.”

The new hygiene protocols also caused Taiwan’s EVA Air to suspend passenger services to Shanghai Pudong from the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung until February 3, Taiwan’s semi-official central news agency reported. Another Taiwan-based airline, China Airlines, is suspending flights from one city to Shanghai until the end of January and reducing flights on another route, according to news reports.

Chinese Embassy in the United States said in a statement that the reports that the Delta plane had been turned around because of the ban on incoming flights were incorrect. The embassy noted that many domestic and international flights in the United States had been canceled because of staff shortages, and added that it was “conversing with the relevant airlines to proactively investigate technical issues.” specific techniques and discuss solutions to avoid similar incidents from happening again”.

The outbreak in Xi’an is still small by global standards. On Tuesday, the Global Times, a Communist Party tabloid in China, said the city of 13 million people, where the local government imposed a lockdown last week, reported 175 cases in a single day. , the highest daily number since the outbreak began this month. .

In total, 810 cases have been recorded in Xi’an.

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