A China Southern A380 Pilot Spent Over Half Of 2021 In Quarantine

Ma Jian, a southern China Airbus A380 pilot, spent 189 days and 4,536 hours in quarantine during 2021, earning the title of “Quarantine King”. However, when he was on duty, Ma Jian helped transport passengers and supplies around the world. Let’s investigate further.

An Airbus A380 pilot working for China Southern Airlines spent more than 4,500 hours in quarantine last year. Photo: Getty Images

Meet the king of quarantine

On Thursday, January 13, China Southern Airlines tweeted a photo of Ma Jian, the airline’s “Quarantine King” for 2021. He is the captain of the Airbus A380.

In 2021, he spent 189 days or 4,536 hours in isolation due to travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government to prevent new COVID-19 cases. China Southern Airlines has released a photo of Ma Jian to celebrate the “great sacrifice and dedication” of its crew during the COVID-19 pandemic, FlightGlobal reported.

The airline added,

“Every pilot of China Southern Airlines knows that they are maintaining the stability of the international logistics supply chain and have become a symbol of China’s national strength during the pandemic.”

Despite the fact that he was spending 189 days in isolation, Jian was on duty about 75 days in 2021. Ma Jian completed 505 hours of flying, about one hour of work for every five hours he spent in quarantine.

While working, Ma Jian transported thousands of passengers and supplies around the world aboard the giant A380, the China Southern newspaper said on social media.

Loneliness and strict quarantine

China has imposed strict travel restrictions in the past two years. The state has put in place a COVID-free policy and has strict border controls in place. This has affected the services that airlines can provide.

For pilots like Ma Jian, long stretches under quarantine can be isolated and challenging. However, Ma Jian said that many people are going through more difficult times than them. He added that they can return to their homes after each quarantine and embrace their families.

Nearly 30 A380 pilots working with China Southern Airlines for more than 300 days each in the past two years have been quarantined. In addition, many Boeing 777 pilots were also under quarantine for more than 170 days last year.

Flight attendants don’t have any easier than this. For example, Liu Hui, a flight attendant for the carrier, has spent 310 days in quarantine for the past two years.

Airbus A380 Australia Return Jetty
Southern China is the only Chinese operator of the A380. Photo: Getty Images

China Southern Airlines current schedule

According to OAG, China Southern Airlines is currently the fifth largest airline in the world and the largest in China. The carrier is behind American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and United.

As of this week, China Southern Airlines has 2.3 million seats available. That number is 17.7% below January 2020 levels, according to the OAG.

During the month, the airline will offer 66,780 flights, with 11.6 million seats available, according to Cirium’s database. Both numbers are 3.7% and 6.5% below pre-pandemic levels.

China Southern Airlines’ main route is currently between Shenzhen and Shanghai, with 401 flights scheduled. Guangzhou – Beijing has 400 flights scheduled per month.

Nearly 32% of all China Southern Airlines flights are operated by the Boeing B737-800 fleet. The airline uses its fleet of Airbus A320s on 28.5% of all flights. Meanwhile, it has just 31 scheduled flights using the Airbus A380, or just 0.04% of the company’s services this month.

What do you think of the sacrifices made by Ma Jian and China Southern Airlines pilots and cabin crew? Let us know in the comments below.

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