The rate at which new infections of COVID-19 have spread worldwide is rapidly increasing, forcing China's civil aviation regulator to suspend some flights from the US to Shanghai, according to Shanghai Daily.
Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said five flights to Shanghai operated by Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines have been suspended beginning next week.
Over 50 passengers on these flights have tested positive since the end of 2021 at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.
Among the most severely affected, Delta Air Lines Flight DL287 from Seattle to Shanghai will be suspended through the end of February.
Six travelers on the flight tested positive at the Pudong airport on January 1, while another 11 on the same flight tested positive on January 6.
American Airlines Flight AA127 will be put on hold for four weeks beginning January 24 after 10 passengers tested positive upon arrival at Pudong Airport on December 31.
Other flights, such as China Eastern's MU588 from New York to Shanghai and United Airlines Flight UA857 from San Francisco to Shanghai, will be suspended for two weeks beginning next week. -Shanghai Daily
CAAC further explained that flight suspensions would end if an airline's inbound passengers all test negative for three weeks. Then it would be allowed to add two flights per week.
The move comes as the US faces a surge in Omicron infections. New cases are set to triple last year's quarter-million daily caseload. The seven-day average is around 704k.
Since the virus pandemic began, China and the US have slapped each other with flight restrictions to minimize the spread of the virus.