Emirates to have fewer flights to China as coronavirus spreads
Emirates has reduced its capacity into China through until the beginning of March as the deadly novel coronavirus continues to spread, reports Arabian Business.
A spokesperson for the carrier revealed that it would be deploying its Boeing 777 aircraft on routes between Dubai and Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, instead of A380s.
Flights affected include: EK 362 (DXB-CAN) February 4-29, 2020 and EK 363 (CAN-DXB) February 5-March 1, 2020; EK 304 (DXB-PVG) February 10-29, 2020 and EK 305 (PVG-DXB) February 11-March 1, 2020; EK 308 (DXB-PEK) February 10-29, 2020 and EK 309 (PEK-DXB) February 11-March 1, 2020.
Flights between Dubai and Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Dubai and Beijing Capital International Airport will continue to be operated by an A380 aircraft.
“Emirates apologises for any inconvenience caused,” the statement said.
Oman Air and Saudi Arabian Airlines have both suspended flights to China as well. A statement on the Oman Air website said they would be stopping flights to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport from Wednesday.
It read: “As per the decision taken by PACA (Public Authority for Civil Aviation), National Committee for Civil Aviation Security to temporarily suspend all flights between airports in Oman and airports in mainland China. In view of this, and to be in line with PACA decision, Oman Air is to temporarily suspend service between MCT-CAN v.v from 05th Feb until further notice.”
Saudi Arabian Airlines announced similar action, effective from Sunday (February 2) night.
A statement released on social media said: “All guests holding current bookings will be cancelled and refunded without charges.”
Etihad Airways announced on Friday that it had suspended one of its flights to China after the threat of the coronavirus dampened demand.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said that its flights between Beijing and Nagoya have been temporarily suspended due to low travel demand.
China's death toll from the new coronavirus jumped above 360 on Monday to surpass the number of fatalities of its SARS crisis two decades ago, with dozens of people dying in the epicentre's quarantined ground-zero.
The 57 confirmed new deaths was the single-biggest increase since the virus was detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan, where it is believed to have jumped from animals at a market into humans.
The virus has since spread to more than 24 countries, despite many governments imposing unprecedented travel bans on people coming from China.
The World Health Organisation has declared the crisis a global health emergency, and the first foreign death from the virus was reported in the Philippines on Sunday.