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COVID flights landing at Canadian airports continue downward trend

An Air Canada plane prepares to take off at the Benito Juarez International airport, in Mexico City, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, May 20, 2020.
An Air Canada plane prepares to take off at the Benito Juarez International airport, in Mexico City, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, May 20, 2020.

Sixteen domestic and seven international flights with passengers infected with COVID-19 landed at Canadian airports over the past week, according to Health Canada .

That’s more than the week prior , when five international and six domestic flights had positive cases, but down overall from previous weeks .

Since Nov. 23, four infected flights landed in Toronto — Air Canada 144 and WestJet 658, both from Calgary, Emirates 241 from Dubai on Nov. 23, and WestJet 436 from Edmonton on Nov. 24.

The same number of flights landed at Vancouver, evenly split between domestic and international.

Calgary saw the highest number of infected flights with five — two from U.S. destinations and three originating within Canada.

During the same time period, five international flights originating in Canada carried infected passengers.

Montreal, the fourth Canadian airport still permitted to land international flights, saw three flights with COVID-positive passengers last week.

Winnipeg, London, St. John’s, Charlottetown and Victoria each saw one domestic flight with infected passengers.

Health Canada’s online infected flight data is not exhaustive, and is sourced from local public health agencies and public websites.

Data is deleted after two weeks, and does not list how many passengers on board tested positive, only — when available — row number ranges of where the infected person may have sat.

Despite federal coronavirus orders restricting who can board flights to Canada, 335,872 people described as “neither Canadian citizens nor residents” arrived at Canadian airports between March 22 and Sept. 30 .

Most of these were international students or flight crews, but 22% came for “personal reasons” to visit, attend meetings or conferences, 14% were legal immigrants, and 9% were workers.

Most of the visitors held American passports, followed by 18,000 from China, 2,000 from Italy and 1,600 from Vietnam.

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Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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