Faced with the coronavirus epidemic responsible for 132 deaths according to a last provisional assessment, the British airline takes a drastic measure, with immediate effect.
The airline British Airways announced Wednesday 29th January 2020 the immediate suspension of all its flights to mainland China, following the order issued by the United Kingdom to avoid travelling to the country because of the new coronavirus.
“We have suspended all flights to and from mainland China with immediate effect following the recommendation of the Foreign Ministry,” the company said in a statement sent to AFP.
Nouveau #coronavirus : la compagnie aérienne British Airways annonce la suspension immédiate de tous ses vols vers la Chine continentale, à la suite de la consigne émise par le Royaume-Uni d’éviter de se rendre dans le pays #AFP pic.twitter.com/ZGo1vetOKP
— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) January 29, 2020
The carrier normally operates daily flights from London Heathrow Airport to Beijing and Shanghai.
British Airways, a subsidiary of the IAG group which also includes Iberia, apologizes to travelers but indicates that the safety of its customers and staff is a priority.
Passengers who have planned to travel to China with British Airways are asked to inquire about the airline’s internet sign.
Read also: Coronavirus: a fourth case confirmed in France, the repatriation operation is becoming clearer
No new change for the moment at Air France
Contacted by AFP, Air France said Wednesday morning that its flight program over China had not been changed. The company serves Beijing (10 flights per week) and Shanghai (13 flights per week) from Paris, the European city best connected with China.
Air France flights to Wuhan (3 flights per week) were suspended on January 24.
In recent days, the airline Cathay Pacific Airways, whose main hub is located in Hong Kong International Airport, had announced that it would “gradually reduce”, at least by half, its flights to mainland China from January 30 and until the end of March.
Likewise, American airline United Airlines will reduce its service to China.
Meanwhile, Russian airline Ural Airlines, which flies to Munich, Paris and Rome, carrying many Chinese tourists, has announced the suspension of all flights to Europe due to the spread of the new coronavirus.
Twenty-six additional deaths from the new coronavirus have been recorded in China, bringing the total death toll to 132. The number of people infected was Wednesday at 5974 across the country, according to the latest figures from national health authorities.