United, Delta, and American airlines suspend flights to China due to Coronavirus

In response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines will suspend all flights to mainland China, officials said Friday. The move comes amid ongoing concern worldwide about the spread of the virus, and after the World Health Organization declared it a global public health emergency.

So far, Coronvirus has infected about 10,000 people, largely in mainland China. At least 213 people in China have died from the virus, according to figures released Friday.

According to a Delta statement posted on its website Friday, all U.S. to China flights are to be suspended from February 6 through April 30 in response to “ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus.”

Delta mentioned that, in the meantime, it would still be operating flights to China from January 31 until February 5 in an effort to “ensure customers looking to exit China have options to do so.” The statement went on to mention that Delta’s last U.S. to China flight would depart on Monday, February 3, and that the last return flight from China would depart on February 5.

Delta customers affected by the flight suspension are instructed to visit the My Trips section of Delta.com to view their options, which include refund requests, flight recommendations for after April 30, and contacting Delta directly to discuss further options.

Not long after Delta issued its flight suspension statement, American Airlines also published a short statement on its decision to cancel all of its flights to and from China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. According to American Airlines statement, the cancellation of these flights is effective January 31 and is expected to last until March 27.

USA Today reports that United Airlines announced the suspension of its operations “between its U.S. hub and three mainland China cities – Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai – from Feb. 6 until March 28.”  United also said that it would still allow “one daily flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong,” and that it would still operate “select flights” to provide U.S.-based customers and United Airlines staff options for returning home.

The airline industry isn’t the only one affected by the rapid and sudden outbreak of the coronavirus in China. The tech sector is also dealing with production and employee safety concerns related to the virus. Google has had to temporarily close its offices in China and impose temporary business travel restrictions for its employees. Apple is also reportedly working on plans to mitigate the effects of outbreak-related factory closings in China on the production of its products.

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