The American company Delta Airlines decided to return on a flight from Shanghai to Seattle last week because of the need for new health restrictions at the airport, receiving criticism from Chinese authorities.
“Flight 287 from Seattle to Shanghai returned to (Seattle) on December 21 in accordance with the cleaning requirements at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) issued by the Chinese government. The spokesman said in an email to AFP on Monday.
“The new clean-up procedures require significantly extended floor time and are not feasible for Delta in operation,” he added without giving details of the procedures in question.
According to Chinese media reports, many travelers arrived in the United States with expired COVID tests and expired visas, prompting them to formally file a complaint to the Chinese Consulate Delta in San Francisco.
Airlines around the world have canceled thousands of flights in recent days as many pilots and crew have become ill or detained due to the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Many officials have also tightened sanctions, with Chinese officials particularly on dent as the Beijing Olympics approach, which begin in less than 40 days.