American among airlines canceling some China flights, cutting services due to coronavirus
DALLAS - American Airlines said Wednesday it will suspend flights between Los Angeles and both Shanghai and Beijing from Feb. 9 through Mar. 27. The airline cited "the significant decline in demand for travel to and from China."
While flights to China from Dallas will go on as scheduled next month, some flights from China to DFW Airport connect in Los Angeles, which means Dallas could see reduced international travel as well because of the coronavirus.
The coronavirus has infected thousands in China and killed more than 100 people.
Now, Dallas based American Airlines is canceling some of its flights to China.
Starting next month, all flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai at the Los Angeles International Airport will be canceled.
Some of those flights connect to DFW, so it will impact some Dallas flights as well.
“Business-wise, it is something they can probably absorb. But American, like every airline, tries not to do this to their customers,” said Mike Davis, economic professor at SMU.
American Airlines joins United and British Airways in canceling flights to China.
DFW has a similar amount of flights to China as LAX, and those flights out of Dallas without connections at LAX will not be canceled.
Professor Davis said he travels to China often on behalf of the Cox School of Business.
He thinks DFW flights aren’t being impacted right now because it’s mainly business travel out of Dallas.
“This is really my personal experience. They are heavily oriented towards American business people going there,” he said. “These are people who are not going into the countryside, not going to Wuhan, and they have to do business.”
The Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce said most of their members who have recently traveled to China are back in the U.S. and are not infected.
The group says a very small number of their members have recently had to cancel flights to the country.
Davis said that while flights to LAX will be cancelled, DFW could see an uptick in international passengers.
“Without a doubt there will be more people going L.A. to Dallas, because it will be the only way to get to Beijing or Shanghai,” he explained.
Last week, Texas had four possible coronavirus cases, but all four of those tests came back negative.
RELATED: DFW Airport to begin screening international travelers for coronavirus
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 including Fin nair, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, and Singapore-based Jetstar Asia are slashing service.
Beyond disrupting travel, the move will heighten concerns about the broader economic impact of the virus outbreak. Hotels, airlines, casinos and cruise operators are among the industries suffering the most immediate repercussions, especially in countries close to China.
BA said it was immediately suspending all flights to and from mainland China after the U.K. government warned against unnecessary travel to the country amid a virus outbreak.
The airline operates daily flights from London's Heathrow Airport to Shanghai and Beijing. It took the measure a day after Britain's Foreign Office updated its travel advice on China, warning against "all but essential travel" to the mainland, not including Hong Kong and Macao.
China has cut off access to the central city of Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak, and 16 other cities to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further. That has trapped more than 50 million people in the most far-reaching disease control measures ever imposed. The outbreak has infected more than 6,000 on the mainland and abroad.
Online flight notice boards for the Beijing and Shanghai airports showed numerous cancellations for both domestic and foreign airlines on Wednesday:
-Air Seoul, a budget airline, became the first South Korean airline to suspend its fights to mainland Chinese destinations apart from Wuhan, stopping its flights to the cities of Zhangjiajie and Linyi.
-Indonesia's Lion Air said it has canceled more than 50 flights to China well into February. The flights are from five international airports in Manado, Surabaya, Jakarta, Batam and from Denpasar, in Bali, to 15 airports in China. The suspension will be phased in gradually and continue until further notice.
-Hong Kong airlines are cutting the number of their flights to the mainland by about half through the end of March in response to government virus-control efforts.
-Cathay Pacific Group said flights to 24 mainland destinations would be reduced to 240 weekly. The company owns Cathay Pacific Airways, cargo carrier Air Hong Kong, Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Express.
-Air India is suspending Delhi-Shanghai flights, which operate six times a week, from Friday until Feb. 14.
-Finland's Finnair, which has actively promoted its position linking Asian and Western destinations, said it was canceling three weekly flights to Beijing Daxing International Airport through late March, as well as its twice-weekly flights to Nanjing.
-Jetstar Asia will temporarily suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Hefei, Guiyang and Xuzhou starting Thursday through the end of March due to a drop in demand.
-South Korea's second-largest carrier, Asiana Airlines, will temporarily suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Guilin, Changsha and Haikou starting next month.
-Korean Air, South Korea's biggest airline, said it is also considering grounding some of its flights to mainland China as passenger demand drops. Korean Air had operated four flights a week to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, before suspending them on Jan. 23.
-Taiwan's Eva Air announced a partial cancellation of flights to and from mainland China for two weeks starting Feb. 2. In addition, the airline also has stopped providing towels, magazines, table clothes, and is limiting use of blankets and pillows on its flights.
-Kazakhstan, which shares a long border with far western China, announced Wednesday that it plans to suspend all flights, train and bus traffic and to halt issuing visas to Chinese nationals. Before the Wednesday's suspension, there were 24 flights a week from Kazakhstan to China, including a daily flight to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
-Japan's JAL said it had not changed its flight plans, while German carrier Lufthansa said it was monitoring the situation "very closely" and would if necessary make changes in consultation with the authorities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.