Multiple airlines severely reduced their routine flights to mainland China Wednesday; citing growing concerns over the deadly Coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 150 people in the region.
British Airways is now the first airline to suspend all flights to China.
“British Airways said it is canceling all flights to outbreak-stricken mainland China, the first major airline to do so as the number of people in the country infected by a fast-spreading new coronavirus surpassed that of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, nearly two decades ago,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
“The British Airway flights will stay grounded at least until Jan. 31, the carrier said Wednesday. A second airline, Indonesia’s Lion Air, said that it, too, would halt all flights to China starting Saturday. Taken together, the airlines’ moves serve as a harbinger of more cutbacks to services to the Chinese mainland, as safety concerns rise and demand drops sharply—triggered by the virus’s rapid spread around the globe,” adds the newspaper.
The United States Department of State issued a direct warning Monday; urging citizens to avoid travel to China as the coronavirus continues to strengthen and spread across Asia.
“The U.S. State Department on Monday warned against visiting China and said Americans should not travel to the Hubei province, given that the province’s city of Wuhan is ground zero for a new deadly coronavirus,” reports Reuters.
“It said travelers should be prepared for the Chinese government to put travel restrictions in place ‘with little or no advance notice,’” adds the website.
Read the full report at the Wall Street Journal.