German flag carrier Lufthansa is canceling flights to mainland China until Feb. 9, the group announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The Lufthansa group, one of Europe's largest airline companies, said the decision also applied to flights run by its subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian Airlines.
Each of the carriers will fly to their respective destinations in China "one last time" to give passengers and crew "the opportunity to return to Germany, Switzerland and Austria," the group said.
The Lufthansa group normally operates 73 connections to and from mainland China a week, mainly to Beijing and Shanghai.
This makes Lufthansa one of many airlines that halted flights in light of the coronavirus outbreak in China's Wuhan, that has been cut off as it is the epicenter of the outbreak.
The Chinese government cut off 16 other cities as well to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further. That has trapped more than 50 million people in the most far-reaching disease control measures ever imposed. The outbreak has infected more than 6,000 on the mainland and abroad.
Online flight notice boards for the Beijing and Shanghai airports showed numerous cancellations for both domestic and foreign airlines on Wednesday:
- Air Seoul, a budget airline, became the first South Korean airline to suspend its fights to mainland Chinese destinations apart from Wuhan, stopping its flights to the cities of Zhangjiajie and Linyi.
- Indonesia's Lion Air said it has canceled more than 50 flights to China well into February. The flights are from five international airports in Manado, Surabaya, Jakarta, Batam and from Denpasar, in Bali, to 15 airports in China. The suspension will be phased in gradually and continue until further notice.
- Hong Kong carriers are cutting the number of flights to the mainland by about half through the end of March in response to government virus-control efforts.
- Cathay Pacific Group said flights to 24 mainland destinations would be reduced to 240 weekly. The company owns Cathay Pacific Airways, cargo carrier Air Hong Kong, Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Express.
- Air India is suspending Delhi-Shanghai flights, which operate six times a week, from Friday until Feb. 14.
- Finland's Finnair, which has actively promoted its position linking Asian and Western destinations, said it was canceling three weekly flights to Beijing Daxing International Airport through late March, as well as its twice-weekly flights to Nanjing.
- Jetstar Asia will temporarily suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Hefei, Guiyang and Xuzhou starting Thursday through the end of March due to a drop in demand.
- South Korea's second-largest carrier, Asiana Airlines, will temporarily suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Guilin, Changsha and Haikou starting next month.
- Korean Air, South Korea’s biggest airline, said it is also considering grounding some of its flights to mainland China as passenger demand drops. Korean Air had operated four flights a week to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, before suspending them on Jan. 23.
- Taiwan’s Eva Air announced a partial cancellation of flights to and from mainland China for two weeks starting Feb. 2. In addition, the airline also has stopped providing towels, magazines, table cloths, and is limiting use of blankets and pillows on its flights.
- Kazakhstan, which shares a long border with far western China, announced Wednesday that it plans to suspend all flights, train and bus traffic and to halt issuing visas to Chinese nationals. Before Wednesday's suspension, there were 24 flights a week from Kazakhstan to China, including a daily flight to Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
- Air France suspended its three weekly flights to Wuhan on January 24, but as of Wednesday morning said it was maintaining its 23 weekly flights to Beijing and Shanghai.
- The Myanmar-based Air KBZ has confirmed it will halt flights to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou from Feb. 1.
- American Airlines said it will suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai from February 9 through March 27. Flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to Beijing and Shanghai have been maintained, the U.S. carrier said.
- British Airways said it had suspended all flights to and from mainland China. The airline flies daily from London's Heathrow airport to Shanghai and Beijing. The airline said it had taken the move following U.K. government advice against all but essential travel to China.
- Iberia announced the suspension of its flight to Shanghai, the only flight they have to China. The suspension will begin on Friday.
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