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Article from BTNews 3 FEBRUARY 2020

Flights axed in coronavirus scare

The list of international airlines suspending all or some flights to China in face of the coronavirus outbreak continued to grow over the weekend despite World Health Organisation advice that such drastic measures were not necessary.

Among the latest were Qantas and Air New Zealand, which said travel bans were forcing them to suspend direct flights to China from 9 February. There was no immediate indication of how long the suspensions would last.

The three major US carriers, United, Delta and American, said on Friday they were cancelling all flights to mainland China after British Airways suspended flights between the UK and Shanghai and Beijing until 29 February.

Also in the UK, Virgin Atlantic said it was stopping its flights to and from Shanghai until “at least” 17 February. The last outbound flight departed on Friday and the last inbound flight arrived on Saturday.

KLM and Air France cancelled some flights but not all and advised passengers to check before attempting to travel. Vietnam halted all air travel to China, Italy banned incoming flights, the first EU country to do so, and Qatar Airways became the first Middle East carrier to suspend flights.

Would-be travellers were advised to check with their individual airlines, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said passengers should continue to monitor the situation through its website.


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