- Airlines around the world have canceled or cut their flights to China until as late as March amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- European and US airlines, including United and American, largely make up the list of airlines that have canceled flights.
- Air travel is one of the quickest ways a disease can spread, since aircraft fly all over the world, especially from an economic hub like China.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As the number of people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus around the world grows, airlines have canceled or reduced flights to China, where the virus was discovered.
Their reasoning is a mix of reduced demand to visit the country and fear of the virus spreading, with numerous cities outside China reporting cases of the virus.
European and US airlines – along with some Asian airlines – largely make up the list of those reducing service or outright canceling flights to mainland China until the virus is under control. Some airlines have canceled flights as far out as the end of March.
Beijing and Shanghai are among the most affected cities, and some airlines have cut service to Hong Kong, a semiautonomous region of the country. Macau has remained largely unaffected.
Those airlines that aren’t reducing service to China are typically making up for it by offering travel waivers for customers to change or cancel flights without a fee. Many are offering changes for those traveling on flights up to the end of February.
Here’s a list of airlines that have canceled flights to China.
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Kazakhstan’s flag carrier will be forced to stop serving mainland China on February 3 per a government mandate to cut transportation ties following the spread of coronavirus. Reuters reported that both air and land routes between the two countries will be closed.
Air Canada announced on Tuesday that it would scale back the number of flights to China, the Globe and Mail reported.
The airline primarily flies to Beijing and Shanghai from cities across Canada. Though it didn’t cancel all 33 of its weekly flights to China, it offered passengers traveling to the region the opportunity to change or cancel their flights.
One of the few European airlines that served Wuhan before the closure of its airport, Air France has canceled all of its flights to mainland China, its website states. The cancellations will remain in effect only until February 9, with the airline offering relief flights to Beijing and Shanghai using volunteer crew to evacuate passengers and crew.
Air France has also issued a travel waiver allowing passengers to change or cancel flights until the end of February.
Air India is axing flights to Shanghai until mid-February and reducing service to Hong Kong, The Times of India reported.
For its flights to Hong Kong, crews will be required to wear special masks and come straight home as passengers to avoid staying in the region.
The Myanmar-based airline which operates an extensive route network to mainland Chinese cities has announced that it will cut service to Guangzhou, the Economic Times reported. The city is one of over ten in China that the airline serves but no further cancellations have been announced.
Air Macau has canceled a handful of flights to China for February 7, the airline’s website reports. The mainland Chinese cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, and Hangzhou are affected, though it appears the frequencies are only being cut for one day.
Air Mauritius is suspending its route between its island homeland and Shanghai, the only service to mainland China offered by the airline, according to a company press release.
The carrier did not say when it will resume service but plans to reroute passengers still wanting to travel or return to the country via other Asian cities it serves including Hong Kong, which remains unaffected.
The Korean budget airline Air Seoul extended its cancellation of flights to mainland China to include Zhangjiajie and Linyi in addition to Wuhan, USA Today reported.
The airline is one of a few South Korean airlines to suspend service to Chinese cities outside of Wuhan following the outbreak, with the flag carrier Korean Air still flying between the two countries.
Air Tanzania pushed back its inaugural flight from Dar es Salaam to China, Reuters reported. The airline had been aiming to take advantage of China’s increasing involvement in East Africa to offer flights between Tanzania’s economic hub and mainland China.
Safety concerns due to the virus, however, have indefinitely pushed back the flight, which would likely have been operated by the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
American Airlines announced on Wednesday that it would suspend service to Shanghai and Beijing from its West Coast in Los Angeles, CNBC reported. Services to the cities from the airline’s Dallas hub remain unaffected.
It’s also offering travel waivers for flights to Wuhan, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai until the end of February.
Korea’s Asiana Airlines is suspending flights starting Saturday to three Chinese cities – Guilin, Changsha, and Haikou – because of the virus, its website said.
The airline also issued a travel waiver for passengers traveling to mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Joining its fellow Lufthansa Group airlines, Austrian Airlines on Wednesday said it would cut services to mainland China from its Vienna hub, Reuters reported. The airline, which serves Beijing and Shanghai, will offer one last flight before pulling out of the country until early February.
British Airways announced it would suspend all its flights to China until at least the end of January. The UK’s flag carrier connects London with Beijing and Shanghai.
The closest carrier to the affected region, Cathay Pacific said it would keep its flights to mainland China but cut capacity by half. Flights directly to Wuhan operated by its sister airline Cathay Dragon, however, have been canceled.
Passengers can change or cancel flights to mainland China, less than 10 miles from the airline’s base at Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific sometimes takes cues from the Chinese government, as seen during its CEO’s recent resignation.
The airline also said it would cut back on amenities such as hot towels, pillows, blankets, and magazines.
Cebu Pacific Air
The Filipino low-cost carrier is scaling back the number of flights it’s offering to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, according to the airline’s website. The reduction begins February 5 and is expected to last until the end of March.
Customers on flights still operating are able to change or cancel their travel plans.
Taiwan’s China Airlines has canceled some flights to cities across mainland China, though it hasn’t completely suspended service, the airline’s website shows. Passengers flying to Taiwan from China must also now fill out a Health Declaration Form.
The airline is also allowing passengers scheduled to fly to mainland China and Hong Kong between now and the end of March to cancel or change their travel plans.
Delta Air Lines
Delta is reducing services to the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai from its Asian gateways across the US, according to its website. Those cities that will see reduced service are Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
The cancellations will scale back the number of Delta’s daily flights to China to 21, down by half its normal number. The airline will begin the reduction starting the first week of February and it will remain in effect until the end of April.
Travel waivers are also in effect for passengers traveling on Delta flights to Shanghai and Beijing allowing flyers to change or cancel flights.
Egypt’s national carrier will be suspending all of its flights to mainland China indefinitely, according to the airline’s website. The airline connects Cairo with the Chinese cities of Beijing, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou, with the suspensions beginning on February 1.
El Al Israel Airlines
El Al Israel Airlines is suspending its only route to mainland China from Tel Aviv to Beijing starting Friday, Haaretz reported. The airline has given a date of March 25 for the resumption of service.
It will, however, continue its flights to Hong Kong.
The Korean low-cost carrier is suspending services to cities across China, the airline’s website reported, as well as reducing services to Macau. The suspensions are due to last until the end of February into early March.
Taiwan’s EVA Air and its subsidiary UNI Air joins China Airlines in changing its flight schedule for services to mainland China, according to the airline’s website. The two help make up the air bridge between mainland China and Taiwan, despite tensions between the two governments.
Initially only offering a travel waiver for flights to Wuhan, the airline has extended its change or cancel policy to include any city in mainland China, as well as the regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
One of the European airlines with many routes to China, Finnair has largely maintained its flights to the country, though it has cut back on the frequency of flights to Beijing and stopped flights to Nanjing. The airline’s flights to other cities such as Guangzhou and Shanghai have been unaffected.
The airline focuses heavily on Asian services, connecting Europe and Asia via its hub in Helsinki and offering a stopover program to encourage visitors from both continents. Multiple Chinese airlines also use the city as a stopover for other cities in Europe.
Passengers flying on any Finnair flight to mainland China or Hong Kong until the end of February can also change or cancel their flights.
Hong Kong Airlines
Hong Kong Airlines is joining in with Cathay Pacific in scaling back service to mainland China, according to the airline’s website. Major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Nanjing, as well as smaller cities across the country, are affected.
The airline has only announced cancellations until February 11, a much sooner date than most airlines that have cut services to China. A travel waiver is also in effect for mainland China-bound passengers, though only for travel before February 11.
The Spanish flag carrier is joining in with its sister airline British Airways in suspending flights to China for the month of February, according to the airline’s website. The suspension starts on January 31 and affects the carrier’s Madrid-Shanghai route, its only route to mainland China.
The low-cost Indian airline IndiGo is cutting service to Chengdu and Hong Kong beginning Saturday, it will keep service to Guangzhou, The Times of India reported.
The low-cost carrier Jetstar Asia is canceling services to the mainland Chinese cities of Hefei, Guiyang, and Xuzhou from Thursday to the end of March, its website said.
The airline has also issued travel waivers allowing passengers to change or cancel flights to the country.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
KLM is suspending service to three cities in mainland China beginning Thursday including Xiamen, Chengdu, and Hangzhou, the airline announced. Services to Beijing and other Chinese cities and Hong Kong remain unaffected, though it will scale back frequencies to Shanghai.
The airline claimed that it doesn’t see a reason to cancel services to mainland China outright, as many European airlines are doing, but will allow passengers to change or cancel flights to the country.
Korean Air is canceling flights to nine mainland Chinese cities beginning the first week of February, the airline’s website shows. Flights to Tunxi, Qingdao, Beijing, Nanjing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Zhangjiajie, Changsha, and Kunming from cities across South Korea are affected until late-February.
Indonesia’s Lion Air will suspend flights to the 15 cities it serves in mainland China because of the outbreak, CNA reported.
The Lufthansa Group announced on Wednesday that it would cut service to mainland China on Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, and Austrian Airlines until the end of February, Reuters reported.
Numerous routes from Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs will be affected, including to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, and Shenyang. Service to Hong Kong, however, remains unaffected.
Myanmar Airways International
Myanmar Airways International Airways is canceling all of its charter flights to mainland Chinese destinations, as well as its scheduled service to Guangzhou, starting Friday, according to the airline’s website. The airline hasn’t yet given a date as to when services will resume.
Myanmar National Airlines
Myanmar’s flag carrier will suspend services to mainland China and Hong Kong, the Economic Times reported. The state-owned airline currently serves one destination in mainland China, Chengdu.
The national carrier of the archipelagic nation is canceling its charter flights to mainland Chinese cities of Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou, with its website citing the Chinese government’s restriction on tourist travel. Scheduled services to the country are unaffected though a travel waiver is in place for flights until the end of February.
Scandinavian Airlines announced it would suspend services to mainland China starting January 31 until the end of February, joining its Nordic colleague Finnair in doing so. The airline serves Beijing and Shanghai from its Copenhagen hub.
Service to Hong Kong remains unaffected; however, passengers heading to or through the autonomous region are allowed to change or cancel their flights.
Another Kazakhstani airline to be affected by the government’s closure of transportation links with mainland China, SCAT Airlines will be forced to suspend operations to the country on February 3. It is unclear when service will resume as it is dependent on the country’s government.
Sinagpore Airlines and its regional arm Silk Air will be selectively cutting services to mainland China, the airline announced on its website. The cities of Beijing, Shenzen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu, and Chongqing will be affected with some frequencies being cut until the beginning of March.
Ukrainian low-cost carrier SkyUp Airlines will be suspending services to mainland China until March, according to a social media post made by the airline. Along with Ukraine International Airlines, the airline serves the Chinese island of Hainan.
Turkish Airlines is reducing frequencies to mainland Chinese cities until the end of February, the airline’s spokesperson said in a Twitter post. The cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Xian will be affected with the reduction starting February 5.
Swiss International Air Lines
Swiss International Air Lines has canceled all service to mainland China from its hub in Zurich, Reuters reported.
The airline serves Beijing and Shanghai from Zurich, with plans to move to Beijing’s newest airport at the end of March. Service to Hong Kong is not affected.
Ukraine International Airlines
Ukraine International Airlines will be cutting charter services to China following evacuation flights to Hainan Island this week and the first week of February, the airline’s website reports. The cessation of services will remain in effect until February 24.
United Airlines became the first US airline to cut flights to cities in China and to Hong Kong from its hubs, USA Today reported. Service from cities such as Newark, Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco will be temporarily cut, with the airline telling SFGate that it will only offer four daily departures from the US to mainland China and Hong Kong.
For flights that haven’t been canceled, United is offering a travel waiver to change or cancel flights.
Russia’s Ural Airlines is suspending flights to Hainan Island indefinitely, the airline announced. Passengers traveling to its other Chinese destinations from now until February 7 can also change their flights or apply for a refund.
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin Atlantic is joining British Airways in suspending services to China from London, an airline spokesperson told Business Insider. The airline only serves one destination in mainland China, Shanghai, which it will stop flying to for a two-week period starting February 2.
Services to Hong Kong remain unaffected and passengers with tickets booked for travel before February 29 can change their tickets for any date before March 31 or cancel them.