Chinese Aircraft to Repatriate Nationals from Mexico
    2009-05-02 15:07:08     Xinhua      Web Editor: Sun Yang

China Southern Airlines (CSA) said Saturday that it would replace China Eastern Airlines in sending a chartered plane to Mexico to repatriate Chinese passengers who had planned to fly to Shanghai.

China Eastern Airlines (CEA) confirmed CSA's announcement late Saturday, citing the runway limitations at one airport in Mexico for the change.

One Boeing 777-200 plane of CSA will leave Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, at 9 p.m. Sunday for Los Angeles before flying to Mexico to repatriate 120 or so passengers there, said a CSA spokesman.

In accordance with an arrangement of Civil Aviation Administration of China, the CSA plane, which will be a normal flight, should vacate before flying to Mexico to pick up the Chinese passengers there.

It is expected these group of passengers will be in the Pudong Airport in Shanghai at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the CSA spokesman, there will be four captains, three pilots, one mechanic aboard the plane, alongside with one inspection and quarantine expert from Shanghai.

With a case of influenza A/H1N1 confirmed on a flight from Mexico, the government decided to suspend flights from Mexico to Shanghai, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

China notified Mexico and the airlines about the decision, ministry officials said. When flights will resume depends on the health situation.

Health authorities in Shanghai issued a notice Friday seeking people who had been on the same flight with a Mexican who was later found infected with influenza A/H1N1 in Hong Kong, after a brief stay in Shanghai's airport before leaving for Hong Kong. So far, it has found all 48 of them.

The Mexican arrived in Shanghai aboard the flight AM098 and flew to Hong Kong aboard the flight MU505.

The Shanghai public health bureau decided to put all of the passengers and crew members under medical observation for seven days. Family members of the passengers have been told to receive medical observation at home.

The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region reported the first confirmed case of influenza A/H1N1 on Friday. The case involved the Mexican who arrived in Hong Kong Thursday by air via Shanghai.

Meanwhile, The health authorities of south China's Guangdong Province are seeking 11 people who had been on the same flight with a Mexican who was later found infected with influenza A/H1N1, according to a notice issued by the Provincial Public Health Bureau Saturday morning.

The patient and 41 other passengers on the flight AM098 arrived in Shanghai from Mexico on Thursday. The 41 passengers then flew to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

The Guangdong public health bureau decided to put the 41 passengers under a 7-day medical observation. However, so far the bureau has found only 30 of them. The bureau asked the other 11 people to contact local disease prevention and control centers to receive medical observation or call the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention at 020-84451025.


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