Novel CoronaVirus: Indian carriers cancel most flights to China and offering full refunds

With the Novel Corona Virus outbreak spreading out, there has been a lot of action that has been acting at the end of airlines towards containment. This being a virus strand that spreads through contact, Wuhan, where the Virus is believed to have originated is under quarantine now. Other cities in China are also under lockdown.

World governments and airlines are starting to take notice of this being a global crisis and taking action accordingly. From the Indian standpoint, here are some steps Indian aviation authorities are taking to ensure it does not spread to India.

Firstly, 21 airports in India are screening passengers. Here are the airports which are screening passengers for symptoms of the Corona Virus.

Various airlines are also started to cancel flights to China. Here are the multiple airlines across the globe which have shut operations to China temporarily:

  • Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines suspended their flights to and from China (mainland) from January 30, 2020, through February 9, 2020. Booking acceptance for flights to China (mainland) has been stopped until the end of February 2020. Hong Kong will continue to be served.
  • American Airlines suspended its flights from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Beijing between February 9 and March 27. American will continue to operate its service from Dallas-Fort Worth and from Los Angeles to Hong Kong.
  • Lion Air is suspending all flights to China from February 1, 2020, onwards as well.
  • British Airways suspended flights to mainland China through February 29, 2020.
  • United has cut flights through February 8, 2020, to China including flights from Newark, San Francisco and Chicago to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
  • Jetstar Asia, Air Canada are some of the other airlines which have cancelled operations to China in various measures.

On the domestic front, Air India has suspended the Delhi – Shanghai flight from January 31 through February 14, 2020, and waived cancellation charges for travel to/from Shanghai & Hong Kong till further notice. Air India has also advised all cockpit and cabin crew who travel South East Asia cities to wear N95 masks.

IndiGo has suspended the Delhi – Chengdu flight from February 1 until February 20, 2020, and also the Bengaluru- Hong Kong flight effective February 1, 2020. IndiGo will continue to operate the Kolkata – Guangzhou sector, but the crew will not have a layover in China anymore. This comes after CEO Rono Dutta on  January 27, 2020, commented that they had not taken a call on the events and would observe for another couple of days.

China clearly looks out of bounds for everyone for now. We will continue to track this situation and keep you updated.

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