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A number of airlines have suspended flights to South Korea amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, which has intensified in the country recently.
According to South China Morning Post, the coronavirus has infected nearly 900 people in South Korea and claimed the lives of eight people as of writing this story.
On February 24, the Hong Kong government imposed travel restrictions on people coming from South Korea, effective from 6am on February 25. Any travellers who have been to South Korea in the past 14 days will also be barred from entering Hong Kong.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the US issued a “level 3” travel advisory for South Korea, which warns to avoid all nonessential travel to country.
The following airlines have temporarily suspended flights to South Korea:
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand announced on February 24 that it will suspend its Auckland-Seoul Incheon route from March 8 until June 30 this year.
The airline said it has seen “a decline in customer bookings between Auckland and Seoul (Incheon) as a result of the global impact of Covid-19 (coronavirus)”.
According to the airline, customers with affected flights will be contacted directly with alternative travel options within the coming weeks, while those who have booked via a travel agent (including online travel agents) will be contacted by their original booking agent.
American Airlines has suspended its daily operation between Seoul Incheon Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport due to a “reduction in demand”, starting from today March 4.
It added that flights to Seoul are scheduled to resume from April 25.
Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways announced on February 24 that it will suspend its two daily services between Vietnam and South Korea, namely Da Nang-Seoul Incheon and Nha Trang-Seoul Incheon, starting February 26.
The airline said the suspension of these two routes is “an extremely important and necessary action to actively contribute to preventing the spread of epidemic”.
It hasn’t announced when it will resume flights to South Korea, and only said it will re-operate flights to the country “until the epidemic is under control”.
British Airways (BA) will cancel roundtrip flights between London Heathrow and Seoul every other day during the period from March 13 and March 18.
Meanwhile, BA is also “merging” a number of flights to Italy and Singapore next month. It said the decision had been taken “to match reduced demand due to the continuing coronavirus issue”.
The airline said it would be contacting customers on cancelled flights “flights so we can discuss their travel options, including rebooking onto other carriers where possible, full refunds or booking with BA for a later date of travel”.
Today, Hong Kong’s flag carrier cancelled its Hong Kong-Seoul service from March 2020 until 28 March 2020 due to the Hong Kong government ban on all non-Hong Kong residents entering Hong Kong from South Korea. The airline said it will actively notify customers if their flight is affected.
Previously, Cathay said on February 22 that it will temporarily suspended flights to Jeju and Busan until March 28.
According to the airline, rebooking, rerouting and refund charges will be waived for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on or before February 24 for travel with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon between Hong Kong and South Korea from February 25 to March 31.
From February 29 until April 30, the US carrier will suspend flights between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seoul Incheon Airport, with the last flight bound for Incheon Airport scheduled on February 28 and the return service on February 29.
At the same time, Delta will also reduce its services between Seoul Incheon Airport and Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle from daily to five times weekly through April 30.
As for its new service between Incheon and Manila, which was previously scheduled to begin on March 29, has been postponed to start on May 1.
The airline said full schedule details will be made available on its website from February 29.
Finnair said its daily flights to Seoul will be suspended from March 9 to April 16.
What’s more, the launch of its new route to Busan will be postponed from March 31, 2020 to July 1, 2020.
Hong Kong Airlines
Hong Kong Airlines announced on February 22 that it will suspend flights between Hong Kong and Seoul Incheon Airport from February 22 until March 28.
The airline offers a special wavier of rebooking and re-routing charges for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on or before February 24 for travel with a confirmed booking on Hong Kong Airlines (HX) flights between Hong Kong and Seoul from February 25 to March 31, 2020.
According to the airline, rebooking or rerouting requests need to be made on or before March 31 for travel with Hong Kong Airlines (HX) flight with a confirmed booking between Hong Kong and Seoul from 25 February to 31 March 2020. The newly revised travel date must be on or within six months from the original departure date and is subject to flight availability. In which case, the ticket expiry date will be adjusted accordingly. More details can be found here.
On February 21, the Japanese flag carrier said it will temporarily suspend one of its daily flights to Seoul and Busan from March 1 to March 29, though it will operate flights to those cities on select days during this period.
More details of the affected flights can be found here:
Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in South Korea, the South Korean flag carrier has suspended and reduced flights to a number of international destinations from Seoul (Incheon and Gimpo), Busan and Jeju.
Details of cancelled flights such as flight number and cancellation period can be found here.
The airline has advised passengers to check their flight status online before leaving for the airport.
According to Lufthansa Group, “some frequencies” will be cancelled from Frankfurt and Munich to Seoul between March 5 and April 24.
Malaysia Airlines has temporarily suspended flights between Kuala Lumpur and Seoul through March 31 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The announcement follows the Malaysian government’s decision to impose travel restrictions on all Iranian, Italian and South Korean nationals, which took effect on March 13. Malaysian citizens returning from these countries will also be subject to a compulsory 14-day quarantine.
The Malaysian flag carrier normally offers 12 round-trip flights per week between the two capital cities.
Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary Silkair have made additional temporary adjustments to select routes across their network due to a drop in demand in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The airline first announced that it would reduce services to several destinations across its network, including Seoul, on February 18. It then provided an updated list of cancelled flights on February 24.
Singapore Airlines will reduce flights between Singapore and its two destinations in South Korea – Seoul (SQ602/603, SQ611/612) and Busan (SQ615/616) – on select days from February till May. Details of the affected flights can be found here.
The Thai flag carrier previously announced service reductions to South Korea on February 15.
The airline will reduce flights on its Bangkok-Busan route on February 27 and from March 5 to March 26. The airline typically offers five round-trip flights per week between the two cities.
What’s more, it will also cut flights on its Bangkok-Seoul route from five flights per day to four per day between February 26 and March 29.
More details of the affected travel dates can be found here.
United is now reducing capacity of its San Francisco-Seoul Incheon service in the months of March and April.
The US carrier will reduce this service from daily to three times weekly during these two months.
Vietnam Airlines will temporarily suspend all flights between Vietnam and South Korea starting March 5 due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in South Korea.
The Vietnamese flag carrier typically operates flights from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Nha Trang to Seoul, as well as flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Busan.
Vietnam Airlines said it would inform passengers when it plans to resume flights to South Korea “as soon as the situation permits”.