Queen’s University of Belfast has charted a jet that will take hundreds of students from China to Northern Ireland on 18 September.
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to affect international student numbers, including Chinese students, across the UK and Ireland with many universities now revaluating their potential earnings over the coming years and fearing huge losses. In May, A QUB spokesperson said the university expects losses in revenue to exceed 30m for the forthcoming year.
The September flight, operating directly out of Beijing, will be exclusively for new and returning students living in China and the cost of a ticket will be comparable to that of a commercial flight.
Queen’s cited the troubling times facing international travel and people “still way of travelling via London and other major airports” as the reason for offering the direct flight and hopes it will help “reduce fuss and anxiety levels for those making the trip”.
The university currently has 1,200 Chinese students enrolled and to reassure them further a QUB staff member will also be on board the flight to answer any questions.
All passengers will be required to provide a recent negative Covid-19 test and display no symptoms at the time of travel. Further, they will be taken directly to campus and placed in quarantine accommodation if it is still necessary in September.
Queen’s added that the decision to offer the China flight was made upon a review of demand and that additional charter flights may be made available to other regions in the coming months.
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