This story is developing. Those with flights booked should check the latest information with their airline
Airlines around the world are suspending or reducing flights to mainland China as governments advise against travel to the region in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The airline said today that following the Canadian government’s advisory to avoid non-essential travel to mainland China, it will temporarily suspend all direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai from January 30, 2020 until February 29, 2020.
The airline added that its last flights departing will operate today and the return flights will operate from Beijing and Shanghai tomorrow, January 30, 2020.
Canada’s flag carrier operates direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Air Canada joins a number of airlines in halting flights to mainland China. British Airways announced yesterday that it would temporarily suspend its flights to mainland China, following the UK Foreign Office’s advice against all but essential travel to the country.
Hong Kong carriers Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines announced on Tuesday that they would also cut flights into mainland China after the Hong Kong government announced its response plan on Tuesday, which includes a number of border control measures such as cutting flights to and from the mainland by half, and suspending high-speed trains and ferries that cross the border.
Air France has decided to extend the suspension of its Shanghai and Beijing services up to and including March 15, “following a reassessment of all the information at its disposal”. Initially, the airline announced the suspension of all its flights to Shanghai and Beijing until February 9.
As from March 16, “depending on the evolution of the situation”, Air France and KLM plan to gradually resume operations to and from Shanghai and Beijing, alternating one daily flight to each destination. In this way, Shanghai and Beijing will be served daily from Europe, via Paris by Air France or Amsterdam by KLM, depending on the day of operation.
Air France added that a normal flight schedule should be resumed as from March 29, while for the time being, service to Wuhan will remain suspended up to and including March 28.
The American carrier said it was suspending 24 US flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai between February 1 and February 8 due to a significant drop in demand, according to CNN.
The announcement follows the US State Department raising its travel advisory level from Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution to Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.
American carrier Delta will also cut its service to China in half to 21 flights a week starting from February 6 until April 30 due to “significantly reduced customer demand prompted by global health concerns related to coronavirus”, the airline said in a statement.
Delta currently operates 42 weekly flights between the US and China, including daily services connecting Beijing and Detroit and Seattle, and Shanghai and Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle.
American says it will suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai from February 9 till March 27.
As for its Hong Kong service, American Airlines has extended the suspension of flying to Hong Kong from its Los Angeles hub through March 27 due to “reduction in demand”, while its flights to Hong Kong from Dallas-Fort Worth are scheduled to resume February 21.
The airline said it will continue to review its flight schedule to ensure that customers’ needs are accommodated and make additional refinements as needed.
The airline said it will run a formal schedule change on February 9. Customers who are booked on impacted Hong Kong flights will see their reservation updated on its official website, and affected customers will be contacted directly to accommodate travel needs. Those who booked through a travel agent will be contacted by their agency directly beginning Feb. 9, or they can reach out to their travel agency.
What’s more, if a flight is cancelled and a customer chooses to not be rebooked, they may request a full refund by visiting aa.com/refunds.
Lufthansa Group has decided to suspend all Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines flights to/from Beijing and Shanghai until February 29. Initially, the flights had been suspended until February 9.
The Group added that Nanjing, Shenyang and Qingdao will not be served until the end of the winter timetable on March 28.
Meanwhile, flight operations to/from Hong Kong will continue as planned.
The Lufthansa Group offers a total of 54 regular weekly connections from Germany, Switzerland and Austria to mainland China. Destinations include Nanjing, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Qingdao. At the same time, Lufthansa Group airlines offer 19 weekly flights to/from Hong Kong.
Virgin Atlantic has extended its Heathrow-Shanghai flight suspension until March 28, as fears over the spread of the coronavirus continue.
Finnair has decided to suspend all its flights to mainland China between February 6 and February 29. At the same time, its flights to Beijing Daxing and Guangzhou will be suspended between February 5 and March 29, and flights to Nanjing will also be cancelled from February 8 to March 29. Meanwhile, Finnair continues normal operations to Hong Kong.
The airline has also stopped accepting bookings for its flights to mainland China until February 29.
Finnair will continue to operate flights between Helsinki and its mainland China destinations until February 6 in order to allow its customers who are currently travelling to return home to Europe and China. The airline said it is continuously analyzing the situation and its impact on air travel, and destinations concerning flights after February 29 will be made “in due course”.
KLM will extend the suspension of its flights to Beijing and Shanghai up to and including March 15.
With effect from March 16, KLM will resume its services to Beijing and Shanghai. Flights will be alternated every other day between these two cities so as to at least offer a daily KLM connection between Amsterdam and mainland China.
As mentioned above, Air France will operate a “comparable schedule” to Beijing and Shanghai. In this manner, customers will have the option of flying daily from Amsterdam or Paris to China, and Beijing and Shanghai will be accessible from Amsterdam or Paris on alternate days.
KLM said its daily flights will be resumed to Beijing and Shanghai from March 29, while for the time being, services to Chengdu, Hangzhou and Xiamen will remain suspended up to and including March 28.
South Korea’s flag carrier cancelled its Incheon to Wuhan route between January 24 and March 27 due to the spread of the coronavirus. The airline said it would “decide whether to resume the flight depending on the development of the new coronavirus outbreak” in a press release.
Korean Air will suspend or reduce the frequency on some of its other routes to China from February 2. The airline said these measures are aimed at “preventing the further spread of the new coronavirus and in response to the falling demand following the shutdown of major tourist sites in China and business trip restrictions of Korean companies”.
The carrier is set to temporarily suspend its Incheon to Huangshan, Zhangjiajie, Changsha, Kunming; Jeju to Beijing; Busan to Beijing and Nanjing routes. Its routes between Incheon and Qingdao and Shenyang will see a decrease in frequency from 14 to seven flights a week, and the Incheon-Beijing route will reduce from 17 to 14 flights a week. The frequency of its flights between Busan and Qingdao and Shanghai will also be reduced from seven to 4 flights a week.
Singapore Airlines said on January 31 that the airline and its subsidiary SilkAir will reduce capacity on selected routes to mainland China in February due to “the growing scale of the novel coronavirus outbreak”.
The airline will cancel select flights to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Chengdu, and Chongqing. Details on affected flights can be found here.
SIA said affected customers will be notified and re-accommodated onto other flights.
Air India will cancel its Mumbai-Delhi-Shanghai flight from January 31 to February 14.
Turkish Airlines has suspended flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xian until February 9.
Qantas will suspend its two direct services to mainland China (Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai) from February 9 and March 29 2020.
There is no change to Qantas services to Hong Kong or its codeshare arrangements on China Eastern and China Southern flights.
The airline said customers with bookings between February 9 and March 29 will be contacted by Qantas to “discuss options”.
Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary Scoot has also announced that it will suspend all flights between Singapore and mainland China from February 8 until March 28, while flights from Wuhan, Xi’an and Changsha to Singapore will be suspended until March 29. Here is a detailed list of affected flights.
The airline said affected customers booked on these flights will receive a full refund on “unused itinerary value” via the original mode of payment within 24 hours (for credit card only), though the refund process may take “slightly longer” for other modes of payment.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has temporarily suspended its Shanghai-Auckland service until March 29 following the announcement from the New Zealand Government on China travel restrictions on February 2.
Shanghai is the airline’s only destination in mainland China.
David Morgan, Air New Zealand’s chief operational integrity and standards officer captain, says the suspension has been brought forward following increased border restrictions, which “pose significant operational and crew logistics challenges”.
Philippine Airlines has cancelled all flights in February between Manila and the following destinations in the Greater China region: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou (Jinjiang), Hong Kong and Macau.
The Philippines has extended its temporary travel ban on all visitors coming from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The airline said the new entry and exit restrictions “compel” it to cancel flights. It added that affected passengers may refund their tickets with service fees waived, or rebook their trip with rebooking service fees waived. Once the travel bans are lifted, the airline said it would reinstate its flights to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The Qatari national airline has decided to suspend all flights to and from mainland China from February 3 until further notice due to “significant operational challenges caused by entry restrictions imposed by a number of countries”.
Qatar Airways flies to six destinations in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu and Hangzhou.
The airline said an ongoing review of operations will be conducted weekly “with the intention to reinstate the flights as soon as the restrictions are lifted”. It added that affected passengers can either rebook their travel to alternative dates or destinations, or request a full refund without charge.
South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines has also announced the suspension of select routes to mainland China. Details of the affected flights can be found here.
The Thai flag carrier has reduced its flight frequency from Bangkok to six destinations in mainland China in February, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming and Xiamen. Details of the adjusted flights can be found here.
The airline said it made the adjustments in order to match with current changes to flight demand. It now offers a change fee waiver and ticket refund for affected passengers.
Meanwhile, Thai Airways’ low-cost subsidiary Thai Smile has cancelled all flights to and from mainland China for the month of February. Thai Smile currently flies to three destinations in mainland China: Chongqing, Changsha and Zhengzhou.
The carrier said passengers affected by the cancellation can obtain a full refund. It will transfer the flight itineraries of those who still need to travel during this period to its alliance airlines without any charges.
Emirates and Etihad Airways
The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced the suspension of all flights to and from mainland China, with the exception of Beijing, effective from February 5, according to the state news agency Wam.
As a result, Emirates will suspend its flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai from February 5 until further notice. The last flights to/from the two destinations will be:
- EK362 (Dubai-Guangzhou) departing February 4
- EK363 (Guangzhou-Dubai) departing February 5
- EK304 (Dubai-Shanghai) departing February 4
- EK305 (Shanghai-Dubai) departing February 5
Emirates will continue its Beijing services as scheduled. However, the airline mentioned that travellers will be subject to additional medical tests when departing from Beijing Capital Airport from February 5.
According to Emirates News Agency, GCAA also stated that all passengers travelling from Beijing Capital Airport will be required to undergo a six- to eight-hour comprehensive medical screening at the airport to ensure the safety of passengers before boarding.
Emirates said passengers who have booked travel to/from Guangzhou or Shanghai between February 5 and February 29 can contact their travel agent or Emirates office to refund their ticket, or choose to reroute their journey to/from Beijing or Hong Kong. Any applicable change fee or fare difference will be waived. However, normal refund and flight change charges will apply outside of this travel period.
Emirates now flies twice daily to Beijing and Shanghai, and daily to Guangzhou.
Another UAE carrier Etihad Airways operates daily flights to three destinations in mainland China: Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. As a result, it will also suspend its flights from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai and Chengdu starting February 5.
According to Etihad, passengers who wish to amend their booking can call its contact centre in the UAE at +971 600 555 666 or in mainland China at +86 400882 2050, or by contacting their travel agent in case they have not booked their travel with Etihad directly.
Russia’s national airline Aeroflot has been allowed to continue flights from Moscow to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. However, it has transferred all its flights to/from China to Terminal F of Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport since January 31, while other international flights currently operated by the airline have been transferred to Terminal C, D and E of the airport.
Japanese carrier ANA said it will temporarily decrease or suspend operations to and from select cities in mainland China starting February 10.
Affected flight details can be found here.
Japan Airlines (JAL) will also suspend or reduce its flights to mainland China between February 17 and March 28 due to a decrease in demand for its China routes.
During this period, JAL will suspend its Tokyo Narita-Beijing and one of its Tokyo Haneda-Beijing services. Its Tokyo Narita-Shanghai, Nagoya Chubu-Shanghai and Kansai-Shanghai services will also be suspended.
The airline will reduce its Tokyo Haneda-Guangzhou and Tokyo Narita-Dalian services to four weekly flights.
More flight details can be found here.
The carrier said it might announce more flight suspensions before February 16.
Due to the situation in China regarding the coronavirus, SAS has decided to extend the suspension period of its flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing until March 29, while it added that Hong Kong will be serviced as scheduled.
Earlier this month on February 6, the airline decided to prolong the suspension of all flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing until February 29th.
Refunds and rebooking services are offered for affected passengers.
SAS said will continue to monitor the situation “in close dialogue” with authorities. Customers travelling to, from or via Hong Kong may voluntarily change their reservation or request a refund as well.