Coronavirus: which airlines have stopped flying to China?
Wednesday, 29 January 2020
BA is one of the carries who has announced they will cancel flights for now. Credit: Pixabay
Amid mounting concerns over the spread of the highly contagious Coronavirus, various international airlines have announced they are taking steps to prevent the infection leaving the country.
Within Belgium, Brussels Airlines has said it does not have to take such measures as they do not operate any direct flights to Asia, a spokesperson told The Brussels Times.
For other major transport hubs like Paris and Heathrow airport, both of which have regular flights to China, it’s not so simple.
Here are some updates on the major airlines operating between Europe and China are reacting at the moment:
British Airways on Wednesday announced an immediate suspension of all its flights to mainland China, following the UK’s instruction to avoid flying to the country due to the coronavirus. The carrier normally operates daily flights from London’s Heathrow airport to Beijing and Shanghai.
While the subsidiary of the IAG group has issued apologies to travellers it has maintained that says the safety of its customers and staff is a priority.
Virgin Atlantic, however, said in a statement that it will currently continue to operate its flights between Heathrow and Shanghai. Passengers are able to rebook or obtain a refund free of charge, the Guardian reports.
Air France said on Wednesday morning that its flight schedule to China had not been modified at this time, RTBF reports. While Air France’s 3 weekly flights to Wuhan were suspended on 24 January, flights to Beijing (10 flights a week) and Shanghai (13 flights a week) continue at this time.
Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that it would “gradually reduce” its flights to mainland China by at least half from 30 January to the end of March.
Ural Airlines, a Russian airline popular with Chinese tourists, which flies to Munich, Paris and Rome has suspended of all its flights to Europe.
Following twenty-six additional deaths due to the new coronavirus were recorded in China, bringing the total death toll to 132. The number of people infected across the country on Wednesday stood at 5,974, according to the latest figures from national health authorities.