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

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

An Airbus A380 pilot for China Southern Airlines spent over 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 2021 “King of Quarantine.” He is an Airbus A380 captain.

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

The airline added,

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

Despite the fact that he was spending 189 days in isolation, Jian was on duty approximately 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 he was working, Ma Jian delivered thousands of passengers and supplies around the world onboard the superjumbo A380, said China Southern on social media.

Loneliness and strict quarantines

China has imposed severe travel restrictions in the last couple of years. The country has set a zero-COVID policy and has tight border controls. This has impacted the services airlines can offer.

For pilots like Ma Jian, the long stretches under quarantine can be lonely and challenging. Nonetheless, many people are going through more difficult times than them, Ma Jian said. He added that they can go home after each quarantine and hug their families.

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

Flight attendants don’t have it any easier, though. For example, Liu Hui, a flight attendant for the carrier, spent 310 days in quarantine the last couple of years.

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China Southern is the only Chinese A380 operator. Photo: Getty Images

China Southern Airlines current schedule

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

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

During the month, the airline will be offering 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 at the moment goes between Shenzhen and Shanghai, with 401 scheduled flights. Guangzhou-Beijing has 400 scheduled flights in the month.

Approximately 32% of all China Southern Airlines flights are operated with the carrier’s Boeing B737-800 fleet. The airline uses its Airbus A320 fleet on 28.5% of all flights. Meanwhile, it only has 31 scheduled flights using the Airbus A380, or just 0.04% of the airline’s services this month.

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

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