PARIS (AFP) – A number of airlines say they are halting or reducing flights to China as the country struggles to contain the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus sweeping the country.
China has advised its citizens to postpone trips abroad and cancelled overseas group tours, while several countries have urged their citizens to avoid travel to China if possible.
The epidemic has killed 132 people, infected more than 6,000 worldwide, and spread to some 15 countries.
The following is a list of airlines that have announced changes:
Air France suspended its three weekly flights to Wuhan on January 24. It said Wednesday that flights to Beijing and Shanghai would be suspended from Friday.
Air India announced Wednesday that it was suspending service on its Mumbai-New Delhi-Shanghai route effectively January 31, and through February 14.
The flag carrier also said it would reduce the number of flights from Delhi to Hong Kong for the next two weeks.
This Myanmar-based airline has confirmed it will halt flights to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou from February 1.
American Airlines said it will suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai from February 9 through March 27.
Flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to Beijing and Shanghai have been maintained, the US carrier said.
US carrier United Airlines said it will trim its services to China from the United States in light of reduced demand in the wake of a US travel warning urging Americans to reconsider non-essential travel.
United said certain flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai beginning February 1 through February 8 from three US cities were affected.
British Airways said it had suspended all flights to and from mainland China. The airline flies daily from London’s Heathrow airport to Shanghai and Beijing.
The airline said it had taken the move following UK government advice against all but essential travel to China.
The Hong Kong-based carrier said it would progressively reduce capacity by 50 percent or more on its routes to mainland China from Thursday through to the end of March.
The reduction concerns both Cathay Pacific and its Cathay Dragon subsidiary.
Delta Air Lines said it was temporarily halving the number of weekly flights connecting the US and China due to “significantly reduced customer demand” – from 42 to about 21 per week.
The new schedule will be in effect from February 6 through April 30.
Finnair, which offers many connections between Europe and Asia, said it would suspend some flights beginning February 5 through most of March after group travel from China was halted.
For the moment, it will continue daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai, two daily flights to Hong Kong, and two flights a week to Guangzhou.
Iberia announced the suspension of its flight to Shanghai, the only flight they have to China, from Friday.
Kazakhstan says it will halt all transport links with China, beginning with road transport on February 1 and flights from February 3.
From Thursday, KLM will suspend its direct flights to Chengdu and Hangzhou and reduce the number of weekly flights to Shanghai from 11 to seven.
From Friday, it will suspend direct flights to Xiamen.
Indonesia’s Lion Air Group, Southeast Asia’s biggest carrier by fleet size, said Wednesday it would halt all flights to and from China.
The suspension, which affects routes to 15 different Chinese cities, takes effect from February 1 until further notice.
Indonesia attracts more than one million Chinese tourists annually and hosts tens of thousands of guest workers.
German flag carrier Lufthansa is cancelling flights to mainland China until February 9.
The Lufthansa group, one of Europe’s largest airline companies, said the decision also applied to flights run by its subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian Airlines.
Each of the carriers will fly to their respective destinations in China “one last time” to give passengers and crew “the opportunity to return to Germany, Switzerland and Austria,” the group said in a statement.
The Lufthansa group normally operates 73 connections to and from mainland China a week, mainly to Beijing and Shanghai.