After nearly three months since the Chinese city of Wuhan was placed under lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the city's main airport was reopened to limited passenger traffic.
The Wuhan Tianhe Airport reopened to commercial air traffic along with other modes of transportation for travel outside the city and Hubei province for the first time since the lockdown was implemented on January 23.
Among the first travelers were medical workers from throughout China who came to Wuhan to assist the medical system in the city during the outbreak. They boarded charter flights that were given priority at the airport.
However, despite the reopening of flights travel outside the city and Hubei province is still restricted to those deemed safe to travel. Others still are staying home due to fears of catching the virus.
Prior to the reopening, Terminal 3 at the airport – covering an area of 570,000 square meters – was disinfected and “risk evaluations” including assessing the fresh air systems were checked before the reopening.
Before the outbreak, the Wuhan Tianhe Airport typically serves around 25 million passengers annually and serves as a hub for the Chinese Big 3 carriers Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern. Flights were available to cities such as New York City, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Rome, Istanbul, Dubai, Paris, Sydney, Bali, Bangkok, Moscow, Osaka, Seoul, and Singapore.