White House has told airlines it may suspend all US - China flights amid coronavirus outbreak, CNBC reported late Tuesday.
Earlier on the same day, a U.S. State Department official told The Associated Press that a chartered plane sent to China to pick up Americans in the city of Wuhan has departed and is en route to the U.S.
Wuhan is the epicenter of a new virus that has sickened thousands and killed more than 100.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
The plane left Wuhan before dawn Wednesday, China time.
It's first stop will be Anchorage, where the travelers will be re-screened for the virus. Hospitals have been notified and are prepared to treat or quarantine people who may be infected.
Then the plane is scheduled to fly to Ontario, California.