With international travel restrictions, health checks, government measures and more, air travel looks very different in the age of Covid-19.
CNN International Correspondent Will Ripley took a flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong this week. A journey that typically takes about five hours instead became a days-long exercise.
“This is one of three flights per week, they tell me, and it’s flying with 109 passengers. The capacity is well over 400, so about a fourth of the capacity,” said Ripley, once he got on the plane.
“It’s easy to see why airlines are struggling so much right now. How do you sustain an airline, keep an airport open, when so few people are traveling?”
Ripley arrived in Hong Kong, where he received an electronic bracelet that will track his movements during the next 14 days to make sure he follows the mandatory quarantine (which everyone arriving at the airport must do, even if they test negative for Covid-19).
He and all other passengers were required to get tested — but because it was late in the evening, the results wouldn’t come in until the next day. So they were all taken to government-provided accommodation at a hotel and provided with a free meal.
Finally, 20 hours after he started his trip back to Hong Kong, Ripley got the news — he tested negative. Now, it’s time to go home, where he will stay quarantined for the next two weeks. He will have to monitor his health, and fill out a government-supplied daily log of his temperature and any potential symptoms.