MONTREAL — Just hours after announcing it would cancel select flights to China, Air Canada has now moved to temporarily suspend all direct flights to the mainland in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Airlines around the world have also temporarily cancelled flights to mainland China.
Global Affairs Canada today updated its travel advisory for China, advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to the country. Previously the advisory was only for Hubei province.
Air Canada’s flight suspension to Beijing and Shanghai takes effect tomorrow, Jan. 30, and runs through at least Feb. 29.
Passengers will be notified and offered other options including a full refund.
The carrier is also waiving rebooking fees for flights that go through a partner airline to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, until late March.
Yesterday Air Canada announced that it was waiving change fees for flights to Beijing and Shanghai (and Wuhan through a partner carrier).
This morning the airline announced it was cancelling select flights to the country.
Other airlines around the world have also temporarily suspended service to mainland China in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Lufthansa Group announced earlier today that Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss will suspend flights to mainland China through Feb. 9. The three airlines will continue to fly to Hong Kong as scheduled.
British Airways has also halted all flights to China and American Airlines has suspended flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing.
Air India and South Korean budget carrier Seoul Air are also halting all flights to the country, and Indonesia’s Lion Air plans to do the same. Other carriers include Finnair, Cathay Pacific and Jetstar Asia.
Also earlier this afternoon, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne announced that Canada is getting a plane ready to fly Canadians out of Hubei province.
With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press