The airlines suspending flights to China amid coronavirus outbreak

In precautionary measures, airlines around the world have either stopped or reduced their flights to China until as late as March to limit the spread of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province.

Here are some of the major ones to know about:


Qantas will suspend its two direct services to mainland China (Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai) from 9 February until 29 March 2020.

Customers with bookings to or from China between these dates will be contacted by Qantas to discuss options. There is no change to Qantas codeshare arrangements on China Eastern and China Southern flights nor is there any change to Qantas services running between Australia and Hong Kong.

Air Canada

Air Canada is temporarily suspending all flights to Beijing and Shanghai effective 30 January 2020. All those affected will be notified and offered alternative options or a full refund. The airline – who typically flies to Beijing and Shanghai from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – apologises for the disruption.

British Airways

As of 29 January, British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China, excluding Hong Kong. This comes after the UK Foreign Office warned against all travel to China unless essential. The decision was effective immediately and will be revised on Friday 31 January.

Currently, the website is not allowing for any bookings to China through to the end of February. Those flying between 31 January and 23 February can either rebook on another flight operated by British Airways to the same destination or request a refund.

United Airlines

Chicago-based United Airlines was the first US airline to announce it was suspending some flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8. They say the decision came after a significant drop in demand.

The airline is also offering a travel waiver for people wanting to change or cancel flights.

Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines in Korea have cancelled flights from Incheon to three to three Chinese cities – Guilin, Changsha, and Haikou due to the coronavirus. The flights have been suspended from 2 February until late March.

They are also waiving the refund and reissue charges for all Asiana Airlines tickets booked to or from mainland China before January 27th. The waiver will last until 31 March.

Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines is offering a waiver of penalty fees including refund, rebook and reroute fees to passengers who already booked a flight operated to/from mainland China from 24th January 2020 until further notice.

They have also announced that all aircrafts will be equipped with medical masks and medical gloves for passengers’ usage. Additionally, the staff have been well trained about the procedures and regulations to prevent the infection as well as coordinate with the authorities to monitor passengers entering Vietnam, especially from China.


Germany’s Lufthansa will be suspending its own, Swiss and Austrian Airlines flights to and from China until Feb. 9. They will continue to fly to Hong Kong but it will stop taking bookings for flights to mainland China until the end of February.

Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines, who usually flies to Beijing and Shanghai from Vienna will also be limiting services to mainland China until early February.

Wuhan, the city where the first case of the coronavirus was detected in China.

Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific – one of the closest airlines to the affected region – said it would cut the number of flights it operates to mainland China by 50 per cent. However, flights directly to Wuhan operated by its sister airline Cathay Dragon, have been cancelled until the end of March.

Air India

Air India is cancelling its primary Mumbai-Delhi-Shanghai flight until mid-February. Meanwhile, services to Hong Kong will be reduced with cabin crew restricted from staying in the region.

American Airlines

Up until the end of March, American Airlines will suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai due to dwindling demand caused by the coronavirus. Travel waivers will also be offered until the end of February.


The primary airline of Finland is suspending flights from Helsinki to Nanjing and Beijing in China until the end of March. Routes to other cities such as Guangzhou and Shanghai have not been affected. Passengers can change their booking to mainland China or Hong Kong until the end of February free of fees.

Lion Air

Indonesian airline Lion Air Group has announced it will suspend all flights to China from February until further notice. This will affect routes to all 15 Chinese cities the airline serves.

Jetstar Asia

Budget airline Jetstar Asia will be cancelling services to the mainland Chinese cities of Hefei, Guiyang, and Xuzhou following the outbreak. The airline has also issued travel waivers for those wanting to change or cancel flights to the country.

Keep reading: The coronavirus precautions and symptoms travellers should know

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