United Airlines could soon be making a return to Shanghai. With the COVID-19 outbreak slowing down in China, the Chicago-based carrier is reportedly considering operating a weekly flight to the country.
A step forward
Skift senior aviation business editor Brian Sumers tweeted that United told its pilots that it is thinking about operating a service to Shanghai again amid China stepping out of the worst stages of the coronavirus crisis.
China’s virus cases have plummeted on paper in the last few weeks. The nation was the epicenter of the outbreak, peaking to over 80,000 confirmed cases. However, since the beginning of March, numbers of new incidents slowed down massively, shifting the epicenter elsewhere. Currently, the country only has around 1,300 confirmed active cases.
These numbers may have inspired United to restart services to one of its busiest cities. Moreover, the United States now has the highest concentration of cases in the world. Therefore, the risk in China doesn’t seem to be that high in comparison.
The dust is yet to settle
However, there have been recent reports that the Chinese case numbers have been concealed. Bloomberg reports that the US intelligence community came to this conclusion in a classified report to the White House.
Therefore, there should still be some caution exercised when traveling to China or anywhere right now while the virus starts to hit its global peak.
Is there a demand?
Nonetheless, there are several passengers that would benefit from these Shanghai flights. There are many people across the continents that can’t see their families or are stuck in tough predicaments amid the travel restrictions.
Additionally, some business travelers would be looking to reconnect with their associates across the Pacific from San Francisco. So, there will no doubt be fliers looking to snap at the chance of flying to China during this tough time.
The US has restrictions on those arriving from China. Meanwhile, passengers entering China have to go through a 14-day quarantine at an official facility, which has to be paid for out of the traveler’s pocket. Regardless, there will be some willing to go through the lengthy process.
Altogether, amid all the flight cut going on, it is optimistic to hear a US-based airline reintroduce a service. The carrier also flies to London, Tel Aviv, Sydney, São Paulo, Tokyo and Frankfurt during its reduced international schedule.
Source: Simple Flying