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Korean airlines to further cut, suspend flights to China amid coronavirus scare

All News 16:48 February 03, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- Korean Air Lines Co. and other South Korean airlines said Monday they will cut or suspend more flights to China amid mounting fears over the novel coronavirus.

Korean Air Lines Co., the country's national flag carrier, said it will additionally reduce services on nine Chinese routes between Feb. 7 and 22. The move will affect its 68 flights to Chinese cities, including Tianjin, Guangzhou, Xian and Pudong.

Korean Air planes operate on 31 Chinese routes, but the company recently decided to suspend eight routes due to the outbreak of the deadly virus, while cutting flights on 14 routes.

This file photo taken on Jan. 29, 2020, shows aircraft operated by Korean Air Lines Co. at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Local low-cost carrier (LCC) Eastar Jet said it decided to temporarily shut down its service to two Chinese cities -- Yentai and Yenji -- in addition to other Chinese cities.

With the latest move, the company will not operate flights on six of its 11 Chinese routes until further notice.

Major South Korean airlines have already shut down their services to Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

The airlines said they are considering cutting more flights to mainland China following Seoul's travel alert.

On Sunday, South Korea announced it will temporarily ban the entry of foreigners who have traveled to Hubei Province over the past two weeks and that it is reviewing a possible raising of the travel alert level to a "withdrawal recommendation" for all of mainland China.

Currently, Seoul has a withdrawal recommendation, the second highest in its four-tier travel warning system, only for Hubei province.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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