Airlines suspend China flights over coronavirus


Taking a hit: Members of Thai Airways crew disinfect the cabin of an aircraft during a procedure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Several airlines across Asia have suspended flights to Wuhan, and some tour operators are cancelling trips to China. — Reuters

A GROWING number of airlines are suspending flights to China in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak, which as of Friday had killed more than 200 people and infected nearly 10,000 people across the country.

Here's what we know so far about carriers' plans (in alphabetical order):

AIR CANADA

Air Canada said on Jan. 28 it was cancelling select flights to China.

AIR FRANCE

Air France said on Jan. 30 it suspended all scheduled flights to and from mainland China until Feb. 9.

AIR INDIA

Air India said it was cancelling its Mumbai-Delhi-Shanghai flight from Jan. 31 to Feb. 14.

AIR NEW ZEALAND

Air New Zealand said on Jan. 31 it was temporarily reducing flights between Auckland and Shanghai to four return services a week from Feb. 18 to March 31 rather than the usual daily flights.

AIR SEOUL

South Korean budget carrier Air Seoul said on Jan. 28 it had suspended all flights to China.

AIR TANZANIA

Tanzania's state-owned carrier said it would postpone its maiden flights to China. It had planned to begin charter flights to China in February.

AMERICAN AIRLINES

The largest U.S. carrier said it would suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai from Feb. 9 to March 27.

BRITISH AIRWAYS

BA said on Jan. 30 it had cancelled all flights to mainland China for a month.

CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific said it would progressively reduce capacity to and from mainland China by 50% or more from Jan. 30 to the end of March.

DELTA AIR LINES

The U.S. airline said on Jan. 29 it was reducing flights to China to 21 per week from 42, starting Feb. 6 through April 30.

EGYPTAIR

Egypt's flag carrier said on Jan. 30 it would suspend all flights to and from China starting Feb. 1.

EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES

El Al Israel Airlines said on Jan. 30 it was suspending flights to Beijing until March 25. Israel's Health Ministry said it will not allow flights from China to land at its airports.

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES

The African carrier on Jan. 30 denied reports it had suspended all flights to China. The airline's statement contradicted its passenger call centre, which told Reuters earlier in the day that flights to China had been suspended.

FINNAIR

Finland's Finnair said on Jan. 28 it would suspend its flights to Nanjing and Beijing until the end of March after China suspended international group travel from the country.

Finnair will suspend its three weekly flights between Helsinki and Beijing Daxing between Feb. 5 and March 29 and its two weekly flights between Helsinki and Nanjing between Feb. 8 and March 29.

KENYA AIRWAYS

Kenya Airways said on Jan. 31 it has suspended all flights to China until further notice.

LION AIR

Indonesia's Lion Air Group said on Jan. 29 it would suspend all flights to China from February. The airline has suspended six flights from several Indonesian cities to China so far and will suspend the rest next month.

LUFTHANSA

Germany's Lufthansa said on Jan. 29 it was suspending Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines flights to and from China until Feb. 9. The airline continues to fly to Hong Kong, but it will stop taking bookings for flights to mainland China until the end of February.

ROYAL AIR MAROC

Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has temporarily suspended its direct flights to China, the company said on Jan. 30. RAM had on Jan. 16 launched a direct air route with three flights weekly between its Casablanca hub and Beijing.

RWANDAIR

Rwanda carrier RwandAir has halted flights to and from China until further notice, the airline said in a statement on Friday. The decision will be reviewed later in February, it said.

SAS

Nordic airline SAS said on Jan. 30 it has decided to suspend all flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing from Jan. 31 until Feb. 9.

SAS offers 12 regular weekly connections from and to Shanghai and Beijing.

SINGAPORE AIRLINESS

Singapore Airlines Ltd SIAL.SI said on Jan. 31 it would reduce capacity on some of its routes to mainland China in February.

The cuts include flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xiamen and Chongqing, some of which are flown by regional arm SilkAir. Its budget carrier Scoot is also cutting back on flights to China.

TURKISH AIRLINES

Turkey's flag carrier said on Jan. 30 it would decrease frequency on scheduled flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xian between Feb. 5 and Feb. 29.

UNITED AIRLINES

Chicago-based United said it would implement a second phase of flight cancellations between its hub cities in the United States and Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, resulting in 332 additional round trips being called off through March 28.

The cancellations will reduce the carrier's daily departures for mainland China and Hong Kong to four daily departures from 12.

United had previously suspended 24 U.S. flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 because of a significant drop in demand.

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC

UPS has cancelled 22 China flights, as a result of the Wuhan quarantines and normal manufacturing closures due to the Lunar New Year holiday, UPS Chief Executive David Abney said on Jan. 30. He did not specify how many flights cancellations were due to the virus.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC

Virgin Atlantic said on Jan. 30 it would suspend its daily operations to Shanghai for two weeks from Feb. 2. It cited declining demand for flights and the safety of its customers and staff. - Reuters

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