MIAMI – China Airlines (CI) pilots will soon face a 14-day quarantine upon arriving in Taiwan. That’s the latest from Taiwan’s Health Minister which comes amid a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases…all linked to an airport hotel.

Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung said that imposing the 14-day self-isolation for all CI pilots who reside in Taiwan is the only way to stop the COVID-19 transmission at China Airlines. 

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) also ordered all China Airlines pilots working overseas to fly back to Taiwan to undergo a 14-day quarantine. The pilots would be allowed to finish 14-day self-isolation after getting a negative COVID-19 test.

“This will have a big impact on China Airlines, on its passenger and freighter flights, and for the crew, too. But for the safety of the whole community, we cannot but make this decision,” Chen said, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported. 

China Airlines B-18918 Airbus A350-900 (Carbon Livery). Photo: Daniel Goun/Airways

Outbreak Hotel

According to Aerotime Hub, Taiwan has linked the COVID-19 outbreak to the airport hotel where CI pilots stay. Authorities have confirmed 35 COVID-19 cases linked to the outbreak since April 29, 2021.

Responding to the quarantine announcement, CI said it would divide its aircrew members into groups and successively arrange for the 14-day quarantine phase. Also, the airline will prioritize cargo operations. But, the airline warned that lower numbers of available cockpit crew would “affect the delivery time of goods.” 

“China Airlines will make every effort to deploy available manpower,” CI said in a statement. “At present, we are still adjusting both passenger and cargo flights”

Putting this news into a global perspective, to the present day, Taiwan’s total case numbers remain low compared with those of some other parts of the world, with only 1,119 cases and 12 deaths from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Featured image: China Airlines B-18307 Airbus A330-300. Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways