Chinese air travel faces mass cancellations after plane crash

Nearly 74 per cent of flights in China scheduled on March 22 were cancelled, the highest rate this year. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - About 74 per cent of the 11,800 flights scheduled in China on Tuesday (March 22) have been cancelled, including the majority due between Beijing and Shanghai, typically one of the world's busiest domestic routes, according to VariFlight.

Chinese air travel had already been hit by Covid-19-related restrictions, which led to a high level of cancellations, but Tuesday's rate was still the highest this year and double the number at the start of the month, data from the Chinese aviation data company show.

The cancellations come after a Boeing 737-800 NG operated by China Eastern Airlines nosedived out of the sky and crashed in Guangxi autonomous region on Monday afternoon.

There were 132 people on board and no survivors have been found so far. It was the first fatal air crash in China since 2010.

Of the 35 flights from Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport to Beijing listed for Tuesday, two operated in the morning and three more were due to fly. All others were scrapped. Only five of the 34 flights from Beijing to Shanghai's domestic hub were scheduled to operate.

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