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A mass exodus of airline services cuts off China


BANGKOK, 3 February 2020: Airlines continue to cancel flights to and from China reflecting the commercial impact of travel bans that are virtually quarantining China.

Qantas is one of the latest to announce it is stopping its Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai flights from 9 February until 29 March.

This follows entry restrictions imposed by countries including Singapore and the United States on both travellers from China or those who have visited China in the last 14 days. The travel bans have impacted on crew movements who work across the Qantas International network the airline reported.

These entry restrictions pose significant logistical challenges for rostering crew to operate mainland China services, leading to the need to suspend these flights temporarily.

There is no change to Qantas services to Hong Kong as it’s exempt from current travel restrictions.

Qantas said it is liaising closely with the Australian Government on the impact of these changes to citizens currently in mainland China and continues to take advice from the World Health Organisation and Australia’s Chief Medical Officer regarding the Wuhan coronavirus in its decision-making.

Customers with bookings between 9 February and 29 March will be contacted by Qantas to discuss options. There is no change to Qantas codeshare arrangements on China Eastern and China Southern flights.

As previously announced, Qantas’ Sydney-Beijing service was scheduled to close 23 February 2020 for commercial reasons permanently. It will now end on 9 February instead.

Other flight changes

After Italy’s aviation authorities ordered the shutdown of services to Hong Kong Cathay Pacific halted flights to Rome and Milan 1 February.

Vietnam’s civil aviation authorities have suspended all flights to and from China until further notice. Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet and Jetstar Pacific have cancelled flights from Cam Ranh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc to Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong, Shenzhen and other airports in China.

But Vietnam’s airlines have now resumed flights to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau reversing an earlier announcement.

Myanmar Airways flights from Yangon are now grounded. China Eastern Airlines, 9 Air, JC Cambodia, Qingdao Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Hainan Air and Spring Airlines have also cancelled multiple flights from Yangon and Mandalay in Myanmar to Haikou, Qingdao, Xiamen and Guiyang.

Cebu Pacific will suspend flights from Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong, Xiamen, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen to Manila from 2 February to 29 March.

Virgin Atlantic suspend its daily flight operations between Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Heathrow Airport in London, 1 February for 14 days.

Delta Air Lines will cut its flight operations by half between Seattle–Tacoma International Airport in the US and Beijing Capital International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport 6 February to 30 April.

Also 1 February, Egypt Air cut flights from Cairo to Hangzhou in China while flights to Beijing and Guangzhou airports will be suspended from 4 February.

American Airlines will suspend flights from Los Angeles and Beijing Capital International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport from 9 February to 27 March.

Kenya Airways announced the suspension all flights from Nairobi to Guangzhou until further notice. Etihad Airways suspends flights from Nagoya to Beijing from 3 February.

Etihad Airways will suspend flights between Nagoya and Beijing and Daxing from 3 February.

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