Coronavirus started in Wuhan; its airport finally reopened after 11 weeks
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
After 76 days of lockdown, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport has officially reopened. As of Wednesday morning local time, the airport has resumed commercial operations following the city’s lockdown as the origin of the novel coronavirus.
Wuhan Airport (WUH), located in central China’s Hubei province, has been closed since Jan. 23, to contain the spread of the coronavirus. As of Wednesday morning, however, operations have resumed. Xiamen Airlines Flight 8095 was the first commercial aircraft to arrive at WUH since the airport reopened. The Boeing 737-800 (B-5707) landed at WUH from Hangzhou (HGH) at 7:19 a.m. local time (7:19 p.m. Tuesday EST).
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The aircraft was greeted by a water cannon salute upon arrival.
Wuhan Airport reopened today to regular passengers as the lockdown ban lifted. Xiamen Airlines MF8095 was the first flight arriving the city.
The city, once epicenter, recovered from COVID-19 after 76 days lockdown. pic.twitter.com/whyAinv23q
— ChinaAviationReview (@ChinaAvReview) April 8, 2020
It wasn’t immediately clear how many passengers were on board the aircraft, however, according to data from ExpertFlyer, which is owned by TPG’s parent company Red Ventures, the aircraft was nearly half empty. It’s unclear if seats were blocked out by the airline for social distancing measures.
According to FlightRadar24, the first departure from the airport was a China Eastern Boeing 737 flying to Sanya (SYX) as MU2527. The flight departed at 7:25 a.m. local time (7:25 p.m. Tuesday EST) and arrived in Sanya at 9:46 a.m. local time (9:46 p.m. Tuesday EST).
At time of publication, there are a number of aircraft flying to and from Wuhan. According to data from FlightRadar24, there are 15 passenger aircraft airborne flying to or from WUH at time of writing.
A China Southern check-in agent confirmed to Bloomberg that the Guangzhou-based airline plans to operate 28 flights out of Wuhan on Wednesday. Some of the flights were reported to be 90% full, according to the agent.
There was reportedly a crowd outside the airport on Wednesday morning as those who were previously trapped in Wuhan fled to the airport to get home. While a number of medical professionals have been permitted to leave, for non-medical workers, individuals can only leave if they have a “green code,” based on their travel history, health information and close contacts.
The city of Wuhan, with a population of around 11 million, has entered its post-coronavirus phase. As of Wednesday, the city’s airport and train stations have reopened, allowing eligible medical workers and individuals to move freely. According to state broadcaster CCTV, some 55,000 people will leave Wuhan on Wednesday.
Hubei province and the lockdown measures throughout China have reportedly curbed the coronavirus spread in the country. According to Chinese officials, there have been no new deaths from coronavirus for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak, and just two new infections have been reported in the past 14 days in Wuhan.
Wednesday’s lifting of the Wuhan lockdown comes amid news of the coronavirus at its peak or near-peak in other parts of the world. Airports around the world have been forced to drastically reduce — or even suspend — operations as the demand for air travel has dropped significantly and governments have issued restrictive measures.
Featured photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.