Up To 8 Flights Delayed At Heathrow Due To Coronavirus Fears

Up to eight flights have been delayed at London Heathrow Airport due to coronavirus fears. The delays were reportedly due to public health officials responding to the aircraft involved.

United Airlines, Coronavirus, London Heathrow
A United Airlines flight to London Heathrow was caught up in coronavirus scare today. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Earlier today, Simple Flying reported that the global coronavirus outbreak could cost the aviation industry a total of $5bn. The epidemic has taken a hold of China’s Hubei province, with cases popping up elsewhere in the world too. Today, up to eight aircraft were affected by coronavirus fears at London Heathrow Airport. One of these was a United Airlines flight from San Francisco.

What do we know?

We know for certain that a passenger onboard a United Airlines flight from San Francisco was taken unwell. Given the current concern over the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, steps were reportedly taken for the aircraft to be met by health officials.

The United Airlines flight in question was UA901. The flight departed from San Francisco at 15:17, twelve minutes behind schedule. Following a 9-hour and 48-minute flight, the aircraft touched down at London Heathrow Airport at 09:05 this morning.

United Airlines, Coronavirus, London Heathrow
The aircraft involved flew from San Francisco to London Heathrow. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

Commenting on the incident, a United Airlines spokesperson told Simple Flying:

“The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority and we are working closely with Public Health England regarding this individual case. Our crews are trained and ready to respond to anyone on board the aircraft who may become ill in flight and we continue to follow additional precautions recommended by the Public Health England. The aircraft has undergone a deep clean, which includes cleaning all surface areas and overhead bins.”

While not confirming that the United Airlines aircraft was affected, a spokesperson for Heathrow Airport told the Guardian:

“We are working closely with Public Health England officials to facilitate their access to the airport so that they can implement their enhanced monitoring measures as a precaution.”

United Airlines, Coronavirus, London Heathrow
Up to eight flights have thought to have been affected by health scares at Heathrow today. Photo: London Heathrow Airport

What about the other flights?

It’s not been confirmed how many aircraft may have been affected by the coronavirus scare, however, a passenger onboard the flight, Andy West, told the Guardian that the United Airlines pilot said that seven other aircraft at Heathrow had similar concerns.

However, it has not been possible to verify how many flights were affected by coronavirus scares at Heathrow today. Additionally, no cases of the coronavirus, named Covid-19, have been confirmed from today’s occurrences.

According to the World Health Organisation, 49,070 people have now been diagnosed with coronavirus worldwide. Of these, 1,383 have sadly passed away. There are nine confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kindom, and a further 15 in the United States of America.

Were you affected by delays at London Heathrow Airport today? Let us know what you experienced in the comments below.