Etihad Airways has announced that effective from Sunday 22nd March, its services to Beijing will stop in the city of Xi’an, where passengers will disembark for health screening, customs clearance, and to claim their baggage.
"This procedure is likely to be lengthy," the airline said in a statement, adding that this directive does not affect the return schedule from Beijing to Abu Dhabi.
Due to the global spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, the health and aviation authorities of China have issued a directive to all international airlines flying to Beijing, instructing them to land in another designated airport in China before continuing to the capital.
"Once cleared by the local authorities for entry into China, passengers will re-board and baggage will be reloaded for the short flight to Beijing," according to the statement.
"Etihad Airways thanks its guests for their patience and understanding. The airline is following directives from the UAE and international government and regulatory authorities and continues to implement temporary changes to its global operations due to the current situation. This is being carried out for the safety of its customers and staff," it added.
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