En route to China, Delta flight returns due to new anti-Covid restrictions

The American company Delta Airlines decided to return a plane in flight from Shanghai to Seattle last week due to the new sanitary restrictions required at the airport, which drew criticism from the Chinese authorities.

“In order to comply with the cleaning requirements at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) that were issued by the Chinese government on December 21, Flight 287 from Seattle to Shanghai returned to (Seattle) while en route to (Shanghai)” , a company said in an email to AFP on Monday.

“The new cleaning procedures require considerably longer floor time and are not operationally feasible for Delta,” he added without giving details of the procedures in question.

According to Chinese media, several passengers ended up in the United States with expired Covid tests and expired visas, prompting the Chinese consulate in San Francisco to officially complain to Delta.

Thousands of flights have been canceled in recent days by airlines around the world, with many pilots and crews ill or in quarantine due to the highly contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Many authorities have also tightened restrictions, the Chinese authorities are particularly in their teeth as the Beijing Olympics approaches, which begin in less than 40 days.

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