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Global airlines cancel more flights to mainland China to counter virus

01/29/2020| 10:25:34 PM|

British Airways and United Airlines are among the latest to cut flights while China Southern appears particularly vulnerable.

Airlines across the globe suspended more flights to China, as governments clamped down on travel to help stop the spread of the deadly Wuhan virus, according to a Bloomberg report.

British Airways halted daily routes to Beijing and Shanghai from London’s Heathrow airport, after U.K. officials advised against non-essential travel. The U.K. flag carrier said it would reassess over the next few days. 

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said separately it would cut capacity to China by 50% or more starting Thursday, while United Airlines said it would reduce flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. 

Air Canada said on Tuesday it is canceling select flights to China to better match capacity with expected demand as the spread of the new coronavirus rattles travelers.

The global airline industry is starting to feel the impact of stepped-up efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Almost 9% of flights scheduled to or from China were scrapped between Jan. 23 and Jan. 27, according to research from Cirium, which analyzes air travel.

Several South Korean carriers have also halted flights to Chinese cities, including Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air. and Jin Air, while Finnair Oyj, Lion Air in Indonesia, Jetstar Airways’ Singapore operations and Air Macau are among those taking similar steps.

China Southern Airlines could face the largest blow among the country’s “big three” carriers as it controls 30% of Wuhan’s seat capacity, said Bloomberg Intelligence analysts James Teo and Chris Muckensturm. That compares with 1.5% for Air China, which is also vulnerable.

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TAGS: British Airways | United Airlines | coronavirus
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