Lufthansa Group and British Airways are temporarily suspending all flights to mainland China in wake of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
This includes Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines which are both part of the Lufthansa Group, along with German flag-carrier Lufthansa.
British Airways has cancelled its daily flights from London Heathrow (IATA: LHR) to Beijing Daxing (PKX) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG), operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and Boeing 777-300ER respectively. Hong Kong flights remain unaffected. The British flag-carrier offers comparatively few flights to mainland China.
The Lufthansa Group is suspending all 54 weekly flights from its four long-haul hubs Frankfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC), Zurich (ZRH) and Vienna (VIE) to its destinations in China, excluding Hong Kong, starting on Thursday. A last ‘wave’ of flights will take place to get its crews out of the country. The suspension will last until February 9, as the company ‘continuously monitors the situation of the Coronavirus’.
Acceptance of new bookings to or from China has been suspended until the end of February.
Lufthansa currently operates seven routes to mainland Chinese cities; five from Frankfurt and two from Munich. Austrian Airlines and Swiss both fly from their respective bases to Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai Pudong.
Passengers who booked any Lufthansa Group flight to or from China before January 24 and are flying between now and February 29 have the possibility to rebook or entirely cancel the trip once, free of charge. As International Flight Network understands, this also includes codeshare bookings with LH, LX or OS flight numbers.
Other airlines, including for example United Airlines and Air Canada, had already announced a reduction of flights to China due to decreased demand. Hong Hong-based Cathay Pacific is cutting half of its daily flights to mainland China.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.