not-so-friendly skies

United Airlines suspends flights to mainland China over coronovirus concerns

United Airlines halts flights to mainland China over coronovirus fears

News_United Continental airplane_May 2010
United Airlines is halting service to mainland China.  Courtesy of United Airlines

UPDATE 2-11-2020: American has extended the suspension of flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX) hubs as follows: Flights between DFW/LAX and China are suspended through April 24. Flights between DFW and Hong Kong are suspended through April 23. Flights between LAX and HKG are suspended through April 24.

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As news of the coronavirus grows increasingly more ominous for Americans, another major airline is halting service to China.

United Airlines, which boasts a major Houston hub, announced on Friday, January 31 that it will suspend flights to mainland China from February 6 through March 28. United Airlines made the decision based on the U.S. Department of State’s recent increase of the China Travel Advisory to a Level 4 (Do Not Travel), according to a release.

The move comes just after Fort Worth-based American Airlines — and a host of others — announced suspension of service to China on January 31.

That means United Airlines is suspending service between its hub cities and Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai, per the a statement. Until that date, the airline will continue to operate select flights to help ensure that U.S. based employees, as well as customers, have options to return home.

“We will continue to operate one daily flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong,” said a United Airlines spokesperson. “As always, the safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.”

The last flight eastbound (from China to the United States) will be February 5, with the first day without any operations begins February 6 (from China to the United States). The last flights from the United States to China will be February 4; the first day of no flights will be February 5. “We expect to resume operations on March 28,” the spokesperson added.

Airlines that are still flying to China are taking extra precautions to prevent spread of the disease, such as cutting out trolley services, pillows, blankets, and magazines, according to CNN.

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