Coronavirus: ‘British Airways HALTS flights to China’ as deadly disease panic continues

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Coronavirus: ‘British Airways HALTS flights to China’ as deadly disease panic continues

British Airways is taking the significant step of halting flights to Beijing and Shanghai as the deadly coronavirus continues to kill hundreds and infect further thousands of people across China. A formal announcement from the airline is expected to happen on Wednesday in London.

The carrier’s flights BA39 and BA169 on 28 January 2019 will be the last flights in for a month, according to documents reviewed by PaxEx.Aero.

Crew working on those airlines will return as passengers, and remaining crew members will return on the BA38 and BA168 flights leaving China on 29 January.

A statement from airline executives to crew members, seen by Paxex, read: “The situation regarding the new coronavirus in China is constantly developing and tonight the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office position has changed, advising against all but essential travel to China.

“As you would expect, this situation has been monitored constantly for the last week and updates have been provided for our colleagues on the One portal.

“A contingency group has met again tonight (Tuesday) to define a plan and there will be a further operational update early on Wednesday.

“The safety of our colleagues remains our priority.

“The aircraft currently airborne to PVG and PKX will return with all crew currently downroute in these locations… For our Chinese crew based in PKX and PVG who are currently on trips in London, we are making arrangements to get you home.”

In response to a passenger enquiring about direct flights out of China, British Airways tweeted back: “Hi. We’re currently holding off with new bookings until the situation is a bit clearer.

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