16 airlines have canceled flights to China amid coronavirus fears so far

FILE PHOTO: Passengers leave LAX after arriving from Shanghai, China, after a positive case of the coronavirus was announced in the Orange County suburb of Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2020.  REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

Reuters

Passengers leave LAX after arriving from Shanghai, China

  • Airlines around the world are canceling or cutting their flights to China until as late as March amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
  • American and European airlines largely make up the list of airlines that have canceled flights, including US carriers United and American.
  • Air travel is one of the quickest spreaders of disease since aircraft fly all over the world, especially from an economic hub such as China.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the number of people infected with coronavirus around the world grows, airlines around the world have begun preemptively canceling or reducing flights to China, where the virus was first discovered.

The reasoning for doing so is a mix of reduced demand of visitors to the country and fear of the virus spreading, with numerous cities outside of China already reporting cases of the virus.

European, American, and some Asian airlines largely make up the list of those reducing service or canceling flights to mainland China outright until the virus is under control. Beijing and Shanghai are among cities most affected, with some airlines going as far as to cut service to Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region of the country.

Those airlines not canceling services to the country are typically making up for it by offering travel waivers that allow customers to change or cancel flights without a fee. Most airlines are offering changes for those traveling on flights up to the end of February.

The cancellations are extended on some airlines to as far away as the end of March, with the US government still deciding on whether it wants to ban flights between the US and China.

Here's a list of airlines that have canceled flights to China.

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Air Canada

Air Canada

Air Canada announced on Tuesday that it would be scaling back the number of flights it sends to China, the Globe and Mail reported.

The airline primarily flies to Beijing and Shanghai from cities across Canada and despite not canceling all flights, has offered passengers traveling to the region the opportunity to change or cancel flights.

Air India

Air India

Air India is cutting services to Shanghai and Hong Kong, the Times of India reported, axing the former until mid-February and reducing services to the latter.

For its flights that are still operating to Hong Kong, crews will be required to wear special masks and come straight home as passengers to avoid staying in the region.

Air Seoul

Air Seoul

Korean budget airline Air Seoul extended its cancellation of flights to mainland China to include Zhangjiajie and Linyi in addition to Wuhan, USA Today reported.

The airline is one of only a few South Korean airlines to suspend services to Chinese cities outside of Wuhan following the outbreak with flag carrier Korean Air still flying between the two countries.

Air Tanzania

Air Tanzania

Air Tanzania has pushed back its inaugural flight from Dar es Salaam to China, the National Post reported. The airline was aiming to take advantage of China's increasing involvement in East Africa to offer scheduled flights between Tanzania's economic hub and mainland China.

Safety concerns due to the virus, however, have indefinitely pushed back the launch, which would have likely been operated by the airline's Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

American Airlines

American Airlines

American Airlines announced on Wednesday that it would be suspending service to China from Los Angeles, CNBC reported. The airline currently serves Shanghai and Beijing from its West Coast hub, though services to the cities from the airlines' Dallas hub remain unaffected.

A travel waiver is also currently in effect for the cities of Wuhan, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai until the end of February.

Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines

Korea's Asiana Airlines is suspending flights to three Chinese cities, the airline's website shows, due to the virus. Guilin, Changsha, and Haikou will all see flights suspended as early as Saturday.

The airline also issued a travel waiver for passengers traveling to mainland China as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines

Joining its fellow Lufthansa Group airlines, Austrian Airlines on Wednesday cut services to mainland China from its Vienna hub, Yahoo News reported. The airline, which serves Beijing and Shanghai, will offer one last flight before pulling out of the country until the end of February.

British Airways

British Airways

British Airways announced that it would suspend all of its flights to China until at least the end of January. The UK's flag carrier currently connects London with Beijing and Shanghai.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific

The closest carrier to the affected region, Cathay Pacific is keeping its flights to mainland China but cutting capacity by half, a company press release said. Flights directly to Wuhan which are operated by sister airline Cathay Dragon, however, have been canceled.

Passengers can change or cancel flights to mainland China, which sits less than 10 miles from the airline's base at Hong Kong International Airport. As a Chinese airline, Cathay Pacific sometimes takes cues from the Chinese government, as seen during the recent protests that saw its CEO forced to resign.

The airline also stated in a separate press release it will be cutting amenities such as hot towels, pillows, blankets, and magazines.

Finnair

Finnair

Finnair has largely maintained its flights to China as one of the European airlines with the most routes to the country, though it has cut frequencies to Beijing and stopped flights to Nanjing. The airline's flights to other cities such as Guangzhou and Shanghai are unaffected.

The airline focuses heavily on Asian services, connecting Europe and Asia via its hub in Helsinki and offering a stopover program to encourage visitors from both continents. Multiple Chinese airlines also use the city as a stopover point for other cities in Europe.

Passengers flying on any Finnair flight to mainland China or Hong Kong until the end of February can also change or cancel their flights.

IndiGo

IndiGo

Low-cost Indian airline IndiGo is cutting services to some Chinese cities, the Time of India reported, beginning February 1. Services to Chengdu and Hong Kong will be cut temporarily amid fears of the virus but service to Guangzhou from Kolkata will be kept open.

JetStar

JetStar

Low-cost carrier Jetstar Asia is canceling services to the mainland Chinese cities of Hefei, Guiyang, and Xuzhou beginning, the airline's website shows. The cancellations begin on January 30 and extend until the end of March.

The airline has also issued a travel waiver for the entire country, allowing passengers to change or cancel flights.

Lion Air

Lion Air

Indonesia's Lion Air Group will suspend all of its flights to mainland China due to the outbreak, Channel News Asia reported. The low-cost airline group serves 15 destinations in the country

Lufthansa

Lufthansa

The Lufthansa Group announced on Wednesday that it would be cutting services to mainland China until the end of February, Yahoo News reported, affecting flights on Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, and Austrian Airlines.

Numerous routes from Lufthansa's Frankfurt and Munich hubs will be affecting including to cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, and Shenyang.

Services to Hong Kong, however, remain unaffected.

Swiss International Air Lines

Swiss International Air Lines

Following suit with Austrian and Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines has canceled all services to mainland China from its hub in Zurich, Yahoo News reported. The airline serves Beijing and Shanghai from Zurich, with plans to move to Beijing's newest airport at the end of March.

Services to Hong Kong have not been affected.

United Airlines

United Airlines

United Airlines will be cutting flights to cities in China and Hong Kong from hubs across the United States, USA Today reported, becoming the first major US airline to do so. 24 flights from cities such as Newark, Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco will be temporarily cut.

For flights that haven't been canceled, United is offering a travel waiver to change or cancel flights.

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