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Airlines curb or cancel China flights

Airlines curb or cancel China flights
Highlights

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.

Paris: 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.

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. The World Health Organization declared an emergency over the virus but said it "does not recommend and actually opposes any restrictions" on travel and trade to China partly because it could disrupt needed aid. The epidemic has killed 170 people, infected more than 7,000 worldwide including at least 80 outside China, Macau and Hong Kong, and spread to some 15 countries.

The following is a list of airlines that have announced changes: - AirAsia - AirAsia said a ban on flights from Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand to Wuhan, China has been extended until the end of February. - Air Austral - The airline is suspending flights between La Reunion and Guangzhou from February 8 to March 1. - Air France - Air France suspended its three weekly flights to Wuhan on January 24. It said Thursday it had halted regular flights to Beijing and Shanghai until February 9, although it added it would fly special flights with volunteer crews to evacuate employees and clients. - Air India - Air India announced Wednesday that it was suspending service on its Mumbai-New Delhi-Shanghai route effective 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. - Air KBZ - The Myanmar-based airline said it will halt flights to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou from February 1. - Air Madagascar - The airline said Thursday it was suspending its once-weekly flight between Antananarivo and Guangzhou during February, its only direct connection with China. - American Airlines - 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. - British Airways - 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. - Cathay Pacific - 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 - 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. - EgyptAir - EgyptAir said Thursday it was suspending flights to Hangzhou from February and those to other main cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou by February 4. - EL AL - The Israeli airline said Thursday it was suspending its flights to Beijing until March 25. Flights to other Chinese destinations are continuing. - Finnair - 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. - IndiGo - India's largest airline IndiGo announced it would suspend flights between Delhi and Chengdu (China) from February 1 until February 20. IndiGo also said they would suspend Bangalore-Hong Kong flights from February 1. They added that for the time being they would continue to operate the Kolkata-Guangzhou flight, and closely monitor the situation. - KLM - KLM says it is suspending all flights to China by the end of the weekend. "Flights departing from Amsterdam on Sunday, February 2, are planned to give as many clients as possible the chance to travel from Beijing and Shanghai back to Amsterdam," KLM was quoted as saying by the NOS public broadcaster. - Lion Air - 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. - Lufthansa - 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. The Lufthansa group normally operates 73 connections to and from mainland China a week, mainly to Beijing and Shanghai. - United Airlines - US carrier United Airlines has 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. Having earlier announced reductions in the number of flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai between February 1 through February 8, on Thursday it announced from February 9 though March 28 it will reduce the number of daily flights from 12 to four.

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