70% Of Beijing Flights Cancelled As New Outbreak Grows

Just yesterday I reported that 3 of the world’s 5 largest airlines right now are in China as the country gets life back to normal and its aviation sector returns to something more like normal ahead of the rest of the world.

Now, though, flights to and from Beijing are being cancelled en masse on Wednesday – 1,255 flights, or 70% of the total scheduled for the day – as the government tries to contain a new COVID-19 outbreak.

There were 32 new cases reported on Wednesday, bringing a total of 137 new reported cases in 6 days, mostly linked to the Xinfadi food market. Two other domestic cases – in Hebei province next door and in Zhejiang – were reported Wednesday as well.

The Xinfadi food market provides 70% of the city’s fruits and vegetables, though the focus of spread has been on fish. The government claims that the virus was re-imported from Europe, likely on salmon, which isn’t credible – the virus wouldn’t have survived the length of transit on the fish, but it’s politically useful to blame Europe for the virus which began in China.

Street food vendor in Beijing

Street food in Beijing

The government has been testing tens of thousands of people including market employees and customers. They’ve also locked down 30 residential compounds. Schools in Beijing are closed again as well. And 10 other markets have been closed as well. Group sports are banned in Beijing, and masks are being required wherever there are groups of people indoors.

Several provinces are now quarantining inbound travelers from Beijing, and residents of “medium- or high-risk” areas of the capital are facing an outright travel ban. Others must take a COVID test to leave the city.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “likely on salmon, which isn’t credible – the virus wouldn’t have survived the length of transit on the fish”

    This is FALSE. The virus can survive MUCH longer being frozen (typically imported Salmon). Actually Researchers found that both lower temperatures and lower humidity helped viruses survive longer. In particular, at 4 degrees C, or 40 degrees F, and 20% relative humidity, more than two thirds of the viruses survived for 28 days

  2. Lie, cheat and steal…and when every goes to shit, deflect and blame others. Beijing has it down pat, masters of the art.

  3. @Richard – there’s a difference between detectable viral dna and live infectious virus – the claim that the spread originated in salmon imported from europe is laughable

  4. China in many ways is living in the past. Those open air markets provide way too many ways for food to get contaminated. And yeah, lets just blame someone else for our problems.

  5. Life was better when China was be hind the curtain and blocked from Western Civilization IMO. Let’s cut off import and exports and see how long they last. We produce enough food, they don’t and Mexico, Vietnam and S. Korea are much better trading partners.

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