Coronavirus: Air France-KLM extends China flight suspensions to March 15

Air France-KLM had already suspended all flights to and from China until Feb 9 and last week began flying employees out of the country.
Air France-KLM had already suspended all flights to and from China until Feb 9 and last week began flying employees out of the country.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Air France-KLM said Thursday (Feb 6) that it would extend until March 15 the suspension of its flights to China, where authorities are struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

The French-Dutch carrier had already suspended all flights to and from China until Feb 9 and last week began flying employees out of the country.

If conditions allow, it will gradually resume flights to Shanghai and Beijing starting March 16 before returning to normal schedules from March 29, including to Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the virus outbreak, Air France-KLM said in a statement.

"Air France is monitoring the situation in China in real time and has been working closely with national and international health authorities since the outbreak of the coronavirus," it said.

Several airlines have halted flights to China, and some to Hong Kong as well, many citing a drop in passengers because of fears of exposure to a virus that has killed more than 550 people and infected more than 28,000.

The outbreak has been declared a global health emergency, prompting several governments to warn against travel to China and ban new arrivals from the country.