Sixty percent of the flights originally scheduled to be handled in August by Macau International Airport (pictured) have already been cancelled, said the hub’s operator, in response to an enquiry by GGRAsia.
“As of August 9, approximately 2,000 flights were originally scheduled for this August and around 1,200 of them have been cancelled,” said Macau International Airport Co Ltd, an entity also known as CAM.
The airport operator added that the “majority of those were mainland China-Macau flights.” The email from CAM did not mention any reasons for the cancellations.
The reduction in flights coincides with an alert in Macau that began on August 3, when the city’s government announced that a local family of four had tested positive for the highly-infectious Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.
Even before that crisis, the Macau authorities had announced that from July 31, people intending to enter Macau on a direct flight from mainland China would need to hold a nucleic acid test certificate, issued within 48 hours, proving they were ‘negative’ for Covid-19 infection.
That measure came amid a rise in the number of local Covid-19 infection cases reported on the mainland. Some of the new cases were said to be connected to a cluster that originated at Nanjing Lukou International Airport in Jiangsu province.
One of the Macau people infected with the Delta variant had also recently taken a flight to and from mainland China.
Macau’s own situation led to a tightening in Covid-19 testing requirements for travel from Macau to the mainland, the latter the only place with a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau. Test-validity rules for trips to Guangdong from Macau, were subsequently eased to 48 hours. That was a relaxation from the 12-hour validity rule that had been introduced on August 4.
At around the same time, authorities in Guangdong advised the public to “avoid non-essential trips” outside the province, as a precaution against the risk of spreading Covid-19. The province, which has a population of more than 100 million, has been the largest-single feeder market for Macau’s tourists, before and since the crisis.
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