Caixin
Feb 04, 2020 09:15 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Chart: The Airlines That Have Cut Flights to the Mainland

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Airlines around the world have been cutting routes to the Chinese mainland since at least Jan. 23, saying the outbreak of a potentially deadly coronavirus has dented demand. It started as a trickle, with the likes of United Airlines announcing it would cut back some China flights. Then on Jan. 29, British Airways took the dramatic step of indefinitely suspending all of its flights to the mainland, citing advice from the U.K. Foreign Office. Indonesia’s Lion Air followed soon after.

The next day, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health crisis. After that it was a flood: flights and routes were cut with abandon as a flurry of stepped-up travel warnings were issued.

By Caixin’s count, 59 airlines from 44 countries and regions had announced they were suspending some or all flights to the mainland as of Tuesday.

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Alexander Sehmer of Falanx Assynt, a risk consultancy, said that because airlines were canceling flights due to commercial unviability, they were most likely to do so where local governments had restricted travel.

“In the US for example, where the government has advised against all travel to China and is barring entry to foreign nationals travelling from China, there will be significantly reduced demand for flights serving China,” Sehmer said.

“On the other hand in somewhere like Pakistan, where there have been no confirmed coronavirus infections, and where the government has not issued any specific advice against travelling to China, there is less incentive to cancel flights.”

The Pakistani government is one of the few to have resumed flights to China. It did so on Feb. 3, after suspending them for three days.

Contact reporter Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com) and editor Michael Bellart (michaelbellart@caixin.com)

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