British Airways Extends Coronavirus Flight Suspension

British Airways has extended its suspension of flights to mainland China amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the region. As a result, the British flag carrier does not anticipate operating flights to either Beijing or Shanghai before April.

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British Airways and several other airlines have canceled flights to China. Photo: Getty Images

Many carriers from across the globe have been altering their flight schedule to and from China. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak in the region, demand for travel to the area has plummeted. Some governments are advising against traveling altogether. For example, the United Kingdom government has advised against all the most essential travel to the entire Chinese mainland.

What’s the latest?

Over the past two months, The coronavirus epidemic has been in the headlines daily. However, while cases are being detected in locations such as Europe, the vast majority of cases are still being diagnosed in China.

According to the latest data from the world health organization, there are now 40,490 cases of coronavirus. This is double what had been diagnosed a week ago. Around 3/4 of cases are located within Hubei, ground zero for the outbreak. Meanwhile, over 99% of coronavirus cases have been discovered in China.

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The UK government has advised against all but essential travel to the yellow area, and all travel to the red area. Image: OpenStreetMap/Simple Flying

With this in mind, in January the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all travel to Hubei province and all but essential travel to the remainder of mainland China. This does not include Hong Kong or Macau.

As a result, both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic suspended flights to and from mainland China. British Airways initially suspended flights to mainland China on January 29. The first suspension was until Friday, the 31st of January. Then, a day later the suspension was increased until at least the 29th of February according to Head For Points.

April resumption

British Airways has now extended its suspension of flights to Shanghai and Beijing. As a result, flights to the two destinations have been removed until the 31st of March, due to resume on the 1st of April. This will mean that the two routes will have been suspended for just over two months.

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Flights are currently suspended until the start of April. Photo: Getty Images

Simple Flying contacted British Airways regarding this story. They told us:

In line with the FCO’s continued advice against all but essential travel to mainland China, we have canceled flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai until March 31, 2020. Flights to and from Hong Kong continue to operate as normal. We are contacting customers on canceled flights so we can discuss their travel options, including rebooking onto other carriers where possible, full refunds or booking with BA for a later date of travel. Safety is at the heart of everything we do and we will keep the situation under review.

We’re you due to fly to China with British Airways in March? What do you think of the extended suspension? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!