United Airlines Expands Virus Flight Suspensions

United Airlines has increased its suspension of flights to Asian destinations. While the airline had already suspended its flights to mainland China and Hong Kong, it is now partially suspending some other routes.

United Airlines Aircraft
United Airlines has partially suspended further routes to Asia over the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Photo: Getty Images

The ongoing global coronavirus outbreak is having significant effects on the aviation industry. In fact, the industry has almost been served a double whammy by the epidemic. Firstly, carriers are trying to stop the spread of the disease. However, there has also been a shortfall in demand to travel to the areas affected by the outbreak. This could lead to huge losses according to IATA.

What’s happening with United?

According to its dedicated webpage on the current outbreak, United airlines has reduced frequency on select routes to Asia. The carrier had already completely suspended flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Hong Kong. However, United Airlines has now also cut capacity to several other destinations in the region.

The partial suspensions affect three countries, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. In total, the United States carrier has reduced its capacity to 4 different cities in these countries. These are Osaka, Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul. On the matter the airline said:

“We’ll stay in close contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations as we continue to evaluate our schedule.”

United Airlines Denver
The airline has also issued travel waivers for several destinations in Asia. Photo: Getty Images

In addition, United Airlines is waiving change fees on flights to a number of destinations in case the customers are concerned about the virus. This is in line with a number of other carriers in the United States.

What’s happening outside of United airlines?

United Airlines isn’t the only airline that is reacting to the ongoing coronavirus situation. In fact, both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have also suspended flights to mainland China and Hong Kong. Furthermore, Delta Air Lines has also cut capacity to Seoul.

Meanwhile, while not flying to virus hotspots, closer to home Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have also announced certain measures. JetBlue is letting passengers have booked flights between the 27th of February and the 11th of March for travel before the 1st of June to avoid cancellation and change fees on their flights.

JetBlue at Washington Reagan
Despite not serving Asia, JetBlue has also issued a travel waiver due to the virus. Photo: Getty Images

Alaska Airlines, on the other hand, has said that passengers who booked flights between the 27th of February and the 12th of March can cancel or change their flights. However, they will have to claim the amount as a travel credit. This credit can be used for up to a year after it was issued by the airline.

Have you been affected by any of the latest changes announced by airlines? What do you make of the situation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!