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BA cancels China flights as airlines step up fight on virus

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:31s - Published < > Embed
BA cancels China flights as airlines step up fight on virus

BA cancels China flights as airlines step up fight on virus

British Airways has suspended bookings on its website for direct flights from London to Beijing and Shanghai until March, after warnings over travel to China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Francis Maguire reports.

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BA cancels China flights as airlines step up fight on virus

British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China.

It comes as British authorities warned against all but essential travel to the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.

BA.com's website shows no direct flights to China are available in January and February.

Other airlines have also stepped up measures to protect crew and travellers.

Anyone flying with Taiwan's China Airlines will have to make do without hot meals, blankets and newspapers.

Thai Airways is also spray-disinfecting passenger cabins and the cockpit on all flights returning from China.

Thailand had 14 coronavirus cases as of early Wednesday - the second-worst hit country.

Surakit Rattanachan is a Thai Airways manager.

(SOUNDBITE)(Thai) VICE PRESIDENT AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE CENTRE, BKK BASE DEPARTMENT, SURAKIT RATTANACHAN, SAYING: "We have in-flight entertainment, which means the LCD screens are being touched all the time, and so we deep cleanse every flight before departure.

Thai Airways will not tolerate any harm towards passengers and aircraft safety." Singapore Airlines have allowed their crew to wear masks on flights.

Other airlines - like Finnair - have taken more drastic measures and cancelled some flights.

Cathay Pacific have also done the same.

A slowdown in travel would likely hurt the aviation industry.

The SARS outbreak in 2003 led to a 45% plunge in passenger demand in Asia.

The coronavirus has killed more than 130 in China as of early Wednesday.



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