A passenger on board a Lufthansa flight was classified as a potential health risk in China. This had consequences for other travelers the crew.
Flight LH780 took off from Frankfurt the previous evening and landed in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing on Wednesday morning (January 29). Traveling on board the Airbus A340 was a group of 39 Chinese tourists. One of its members was classified as a potential risk by the health authorities in China. In the last two weeks, the man had also traveled to Wuhan, where the new coronavirus originated.
The man suffered from a cough but had no fever. «We can confirm that the Chinese authorities have ordered a medical examination of some of the passengers who arrived in Nanjing today on flight LH780 from Frankfurt», a spokesman of Lufthansa confirmed to aeroTELEGRAPH. All passengers sitting three rows in front and behind the passenger who showed symptoms had to be medically examined.
Crew returns to Frankfurt directly
But not only passengers were stopped by the authorities on arrival in the Chinese city. The entire Lufthansa crew was also unable to enter the country. Since there was a risk that they would have to go into quarantine at Nanjing Lukou International Airport, the airline decided to take them back immediately.
The A340, which had already left the gate in Nanjing, was therefore ordered back again. Return flight LH781 is currently on its way to Frankfurt with a delay of about two and a half hours. The pilots and flight attendants from the outbound flight are also on board. The German health authorities have been informed.
Later the group announced Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss will stop all flights to mainland China until the February, 9. There will only be one more flight today on each route to bring back the crews which still are in China.