Etihad Airways continues to fly to China as more airlines pull out due to virus

Abu Dhabi-based carrier says it is working closely with key stakeholders in China and Abu Dhabi to help prevent the spread of the virus

Etihad Airways said on Thursday it was continuing to fly to China as a growing number of airlines suspended services as fears mount over the deadly coronavirus.

In response to the outbreak in China, Etihad Airways said it continues to work closely with key stakeholders in China and Abu Dhabi to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“Extensive measures have been adopted by medical and aviation authorities in China and the United Arab Emirates, including thermal screening of passengers and crew prior to departure from airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hong Kong, and on arrival in Abu Dhabi, where dedicated gates have been set aside. The Etihad Aviation Group stands ready to take more actions based on informed advice,” the airline said in a statement sent to Arabian Business.

“As there are no travel or trade restrictions at this time, Etihad is continuing to operate flights as normal,” it added.

The statement went on to say: “We will continue to comply with directives and take all appropriate measures, based on the guidance of national and international health authorities and regulators.

“Etihad Airways has extended its waiver policy for guests who would like to cancel or rebook their flights to or from mainland China/Hong Kong. For more details, visit

“The safety and wellbeing of its passengers and employees is the highest priority of Etihad Airways, which continues to collaborate with authorities and industry partners on this important issue.”

Indian carriers Air India and IndiGo also announced the cancellation of some of their flights to Shangai, Chengdu and Hong Kong.

Germany’s flagship carrier Lufthansa said Wednesday it was cancelling all flights to mainland China until February 9, as fears mount over the deadly coronavirus.

The Lufthansa group, one of Europe’s largest airline companies, said the decision also applied to flights run by its subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian Airlines.

The announcement comes after a string of countries – including the United States, Britain and Germany – advised citizens to avoid non-essential travel to China because of the virus, which has now killed more than 130 people and infected around 6,000.

British Airways earlier became the first major airline to announce a total suspension of flights to and from mainland China.

Indonesia’s Lion Air Group has since followed suit, as have airlines from Myanmar and Nepal.

The following is a list of airlines that have announced changes:

– AirAsia –

AirAsia said a ban on flights from Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand to Wuhan, China has been extended until the end of February.

– Air Austral –

The airline is suspending flights between La Reunion and Guangzhou from February 8 to March 1.

– Air France –

Air France suspended its three weekly flights to Wuhan on January 24. It said Thursday it had halted regular flights to Beijing and Shanghai until February 9, although it added it would fly special flights with volunteer crews to evacuate employees and clients.

– Air India –

Air India announced Wednesday that it was suspending service on its Mumbai-New Delhi-Shanghai route effective January 31, and through February 14.

The flag carrier also said it would reduce the number of flights from Delhi to Hong Kong for the next two weeks.

– Air KBZ –

The Myanmar-based airline said it will halt flights to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou from February 1.

– Air Madagascar –

The airline said Thursday it was suspending its once-weekly flight between Antananarivo and Guangzhou during February, its only direct connection with China.

– American Airlines –

American Airlines said it will suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai from February 9 through March 27.

Flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to Beijing and Shanghai have been maintained, the US carrier said.

– British Airways –

British Airways said it had suspended all flights to and from mainland China. The airline flies daily from London’s Heathrow airport to Shanghai and Beijing.

The airline said it had taken the move following UK government advice against all but essential travel to China.

– Cathay Pacific –

The Hong Kong-based carrier said it would progressively reduce capacity by 50 percent or more on its routes to mainland China from Thursday through to the end of March.

The reduction concerns both Cathay Pacific and its Cathay Dragon subsidiary.

– Delta –

Delta Air Lines said it was temporarily halving the number of weekly flights connecting the US and China due to “significantly reduced customer demand” — from 42 to about 21 per week.

The new schedule will be in effect from February 6 through April 30.

– EgyptAir –

EgyptAir said Thursday it was suspending flights to Hangzhou from February and those to other main cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou by February 4.

– EL AL –

The Israeli airline said Thursday it was suspending its flights to Beijing until March 25. Flights to other Chinese destinations are continuing.

– Finnair –

Finnair, which offers many connections between Europe and Asia, said it would suspend some flights beginning February 5 through most of March after group travel from China was halted.

For the moment, it will continue daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai, two daily flights to Hong Kong, and two flights a week to Guangzhou.

– IndiGo –

India’s largest airline IndiGo announced it would suspend flights between Delhi and Chengdu (China) from February 1 until February 20. IndiGo also said they would suspend Bangalore-Hong Kong flights from February 1.

They added that for the time being they would continue to operate the Kolkata–Guangzhou flight, and closely monitor the situation.

– Iberia –

Iberia announced the suspension of its flight to Shanghai, the only flight they have to China, from Friday.

– Kazakhstan –

Kazakhstan says it will halt all transport links with China, beginning with road transport on February 1 and flights from February 3.

– KLM –

From Thursday, KLM will suspend its direct flights to Chengdu and Hangzhou and reduce the number of weekly flights to Shanghai from 11 to seven.

From Friday, it will suspend direct flights to Xiamen.

– Lion Air –

Indonesia’s Lion Air Group, Southeast Asia’s biggest carrier by fleet size, said Wednesday it would halt all flights to and from China.

The suspension, which affects routes to 15 different Chinese cities, takes effect from February 1 until further notice.

Indonesia attracts more than one million Chinese tourists annually and hosts tens of thousands of guest workers.

– Lufthansa –

German flag carrier Lufthansa is cancelling flights to mainland China until February 9.

The Lufthansa group, one of Europe’s largest airline companies, said the decision also applied to flights run by its subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian Airlines.

The Lufthansa group normally operates 73 connections to and from mainland China a week, mainly to Beijing and Shanghai.

– Myanmar Airways International –

MAI has announced a suspension effective from Friday for charter flights to 10 Chinese cities and was allowing passengers booked on its regular service to Guangzhou to change their travel plans without charge.

– Myanmar National Airlines –

MNA has said it will halt flights to Hong Kong and Chengdu from Saturday.

– Scandinavian Airlines –

SAS has announced it is halting direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Friday until February 9. Service to Hong Kong is being continued although passengers are being offered opportunities to cancel or rebook.

– SkyUp Airlines –

The low-cost Ukrainian airline said it will halt charter services to China’s resort island of Hainan until March 28.

– Ukraine International Airlines –

UIA said it would halt services to Hainan until February 24.

– United Airlines –

US carrier United Airlines has said it will trim its services to China from the United States in light of reduced demand in the wake of a US travel warning urging Americans to reconsider non-essential travel.

Having earlier announced reductions in the number of flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai between February 1 through February 8, on Thursday it announced from February 9 though March 28 it will reduce the number of daily flights from 12 to four.

– Urals Airlines –

Russia’s Urals Airlines, which had already suspended flights to several destinations in China, said Wednesday it was cutting some services to Europe popular with Chinese tourists, including Paris and Rome, because of the outbreak.

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