Coronavirus: Airlines cancel China flights
Given that this epidemic of coronavirus has now surpassed SARS in the number of reported cases (~6000), airlines are falling over themselves to suspend, cancel and withdraw from China flights.
Currently, British Airways has stopped all flights to China. American Airlines has suspended Shanghai and Beijing flights, and Asian carriers are following suit. Here is the current list of airlines that have or intend to suspend China flights:
- American Airlines
- Asiana Airlines – Starting February
- British Airways
- Air India
- Seoul Air
- Lion Air
- Cathay Pacific (not including Hong Kong – obvs!)
- Jetstar Asia – cutting services
- Hong Kong Airlines – cutting services
- Korean Air – suspended flights to Wuhan, considering other destinations in China
- Eva Air – partial cancellation starting 2 February
Demand for flights in and out of China has slumped as the Coronavirus epidemic has progressed, because China is isolating Hubei province, and governments around the world are increasing the warnings contained in their travel advice for citizens travelling to China.
Although this contributes to the isolation of the virus, the cold hard loss of cash through a lack of customers and bookings is probably the motivating reason for airlines to suspend flights to mainland China, as well as the welfare of the crews.