Coronavirus: US airlines axing flights to Hong Kong amid deadly outbreak

Previously the airlines had only cancelled mainland China flights

Cathy Adams
Wednesday 05 February 2020 12:10 GMT
UK-wide Coronavirus information campaign launches

US airlines have extended their flight cancellations to Hong Kong amid a growing outbreak of coronavirus.

American Airlines announced that it would pull flights to the southern Chinese city until 20 February due to weak demand.

United Airlines will follow suit this weekend.

AA connected Hong Kong with Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth, while United flew from San Francisco to the city.

Major airlines around the world – including British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways – have already axed flights to mainland China amid the flu-like virus outbreak, which has so far killed more than 400 and infected thousands more.

The US has barred entry to foreigners arriving from mainland China in a bid to prevent the virus spreading.

Until now, airlines had maintained flights to Hong Kong – a special administrative region of China with different border controls to the mainland.

Hong Kong reported its first death from coronavirus earlier this week.

The city’s flagship airline, Cathay Pacific, has announced swingeing cuts to its schedules amid weakening demand – including 90 per cent in capacity to mainland China, where the outbreak began.

Chief executive Augustus Tang has appealed to 27,000 staff members to take three weeks of unpaid leave.

Meanwhile, the UK has told all Britons in China to leave – although this doesn’t apply to Hong Kong.

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