The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) is further cutting the number of international flights allowed by both local and foreign carriers, in a bid to contain the “increasing risks” of imported coronavirus cases.

Effective 29 March, each Chinese airline is allowed to operate just one route to any specific country, with no more than one flight per week. Similarly, each foreign airline is allowed one route to China, with no more than one weekly flight. Load factors on these flights must not exceed 75%.

As a result, the CAAC expects weekly flight volumes to drop to 130, and the number of passengers arriving by air on each day to drop from the current 25,000 to about 5,000.

“We will pay close attention to the changing situation of epidemics abroad and take further measures to tighten the total number of international passenger flights in accordance with the needs of prevention and control,” the CAAC says.

The CAAC is allowing airlines to keep the operating permits, as well as the take-off and landing slots relating to flights that the airlines will cut. They can also operate all-cargo flights with passenger aircraft, which will not be counted against the total number of passenger flights operated.

Today, according to Reuters, mainland China reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus infection in three days, although cases imported from overseas continued to dominate the total number of new cases.