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Government helping stranded travelers return home

China has been stepping up charter flights to bring back travelers from Wuhan, Hubei province, who are facing a tough journey home as airlines cancel flights due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

China has been stepping up charter flights to bring back travelers from Wuhan, Hubei province, who are facing a tough journey home as airlines cancel flights due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday that the Chinese government will send charter flights overseas to return people from Hubei province — especially residents of Wuhan — in consideration of the travel difficulties they are now facing.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China arranged two planes late on Friday afternoon, which were operated by Xiamen Air, to pick up about 200 Wuhan travelers who had been stuck in Bangkok, Thailand, and Kota Kinabalu, a coastal city in Malaysia.

As of Monday, a total of 4,096 tourists from Wuhan still remained overseas, said Wuhan’s Culture and Tourism Bureau. Data on flights leaving the city from the International Air Transport Association showed that the most popular destinations between Dec 30 and Jan 20 were Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

With many tourists who had left the country before the city’s flight restrictions still remaining abroad, Chinese embassies in countries including Japan and the United States have been gathering information in a bid to arrange flights for returning people to Wuhan in a timely manner.

Yi Jie, a 40yearold Wuhan resident, who left the city for the US on Jan 21 for a family trip, has been stuck in Tokyo, where he planned to stay for several days before flying back home because the earliest flight to Wuhan has been postponed to the end of February.

“The embassy has begun to collect stranded travelers’ information. I really appreciate the government taking such good care of us,” Yi said, adding that the only concern he has is the possibility of cross-infection onboard caused by carriers who are still within the 14day incubation period.

With the number of novel coronavirus cases continuing to rise both in and outside of China, people from other regions of China who traveled overseas also run into similar problems as quite a few airlines reduced services or outright canceled flights to a growing number of Chinese cities, with Beijing and Shanghai among the most affected destinations.

European and US airlines including American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Lufthansa, along with some Asian airlines such as Lion Air, largely make up the list. Some airlines have canceled flights as far out as the end of March.

According to online air ticket seller qunar.com, over 4,000 international flights have already been scrapped in February — over 15 percent of the total flights scheduled to or from China.

Feng Xiaokai, who works and lives in Beijing, flew to Thailand on Jan 20 with his parents. But the three of them have been trapped in Bangkok as a result of flight cancellations.

“I keep a close eye on updates about the epidemic every day and know that many countries have suspended flights to Wuhan. But it never occurred to me that the flight route to Beijing would be halted,” he said. “It really freaked out my parents who don’t have much travel experience.” 

However, after getting in contact with the local embassy, Feng’s family received immediate help and are able to fly back to Beijing on Monday.

“The motherland is our strong backup. Thanks to the support of the country and help from various sectors, I will be able to return back home quickly,” he said.

原创文章,作者:李熙,如若转载,请注明出处:https://www.mimimao.net/6621.html

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