Wednesday, 29 January 2020

BA axes flights to mainland China ahead of repatriation flights.

Following Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel to mainland China, British Airways has confirmed it will temporarily suspend its flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai with immediate effect. Currently, the leading UK carrier has axed the flights only until 31st January and will reassess the situation at the time.

Despite the confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Hong Kong, BA has refused to cut those money makes from the schedules and they will continue as normal.

The airline says that it will rebook passengers due to travel in the next few days to mainland China on other carriers if they still want to go,  or can change to the Hong Kong flights.  BA advises that it is continuing to review operating the flights beyond Friday 31 January and has told passengers that if they are flying between "31 January and 23 February 2020, you can rebook on to another flight operated by British Airways to the same destination.".

These changes come just ahead of news that hundreds of British citizens will be flown back to the UK from Wuhan on Thursday, after the special flights, they will be put in quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival. The UK government has said it plans to fly 200 British citizens out from Wuhan on Thursday and when they arrive back in England,  they will be put in "supported isolation" for 14 days with "all necessary medical attention".  According to a Downing Street spokesperson, the location they will be held in will be announced in due course but wouldn't confirm media speculation they will be taken to a military base.

Many other airlines have already axed flights or reduced schedules, including Lufthansa, Lion Air, Swiss, Air India, Finnair, Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Austrian Airlines and United Airlines.

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