Wuhan’s airport has reopened for operations, ending more than two months’ of inactivity due to the coronavirus outbreak.
On 8 April , the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport reopened to a reduced schedule of domestic flights, as Chinese carriers gradually resumed flying to the epicentre of the outbreak.
It marks the first time scheduled flights are departing and arriving at the airport, which was shut down on 23 January, amid a city-wide lockdown, aimed at curbing the outbreak’s spread.
China Eastern Airlines operated the first domestic flight out of the airport for the day. Flight MU2527, a Boeing 737-800 carrying 46 passengers, took off at 7.25am, bound for Sanya in Hainan province.
The carrier states it is also resuming flights to other points in its domestic network, such as its hub of Shanghai, Xiamen, Ningbo, as well as Guangzhou. It noted that it carried more than 1,600 passengers at the end of 8 April, including 1,100 outbound passengers. In total, it mounted more than 30 flights on the first day of operations.
Compatriot China Southern saw its first flight take off bound for Chengdu. Flight CZ3447 was operated by a 737-700 carrying 81 passengers.
It operated 48 flights on the first day of operations — the most among the three largest Chinese carriers. Reinstated routes include Guangzhou, Kunming and Haikou.
The carrier had already resumed flying to other points in Hubei province, which Wuhan is capital of, before 8 April. Hubei was also placed on lockdown as the outbreak grew in magnitude.
Like China Southern, Air China’s first flight of the city was also bound for Chengdu, an Airbus 320 operating flight CA8221.
Wuhan’s local government announced the shutdown of all urban transport network and a suspension of outgoing flights from the morning of 23 January.
The city is a major transportation hub and receives 55 international flights each week from over 20 countries, Cirium schedules data shows. It also sees flights from over 50 points within Mainland China.