China has extended the ban on Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Shanghai Pudong until the end of 2020, citing the increased number of passengers on the flights who have tested positive for COVID-19.
In August this year, Ethiopian Airlines received its first temporary suspension after six people tested positive for the virus. However, the ban lasted only one week. Nevertheless, China enforced the second ban after five passengers on flight ET684 on 6th October 2020 tested positive for the virus. On 13th October, another ten passengers tested positive. Thus, starting from 26th October, the ban was supposed to last only five weeks.
However, another 11 passengers tested positive on 20th October, prompting the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to add four weeks to the original five-week ban.
As a result of the ban, Ethiopian has delayed the launch of its new flight connecting Addis Ababa with Beijing until 1st January 2021.
However, Ethiopian Airlines is not the only airline affected by bans. China Eastern Airlines, Russian carrier Aeroflot, Etihad Airways, Juneyao Air, and Sri Lankan Airlines have also suffered the same fate. CH-Aviation.com reports that more bans, including an Emirates flight to Guangzhou and tow China Southern flights to Dhaka and Manila, are expected to occur this year.