British Airways extends China route cancellations due to coronavirus
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As a result of the fast-moving spread of a deadly Wuhan coronavirus, U.K. airlines — and airlines around the world — have taken to cancelling routes to China and other destinations in Asia. Among them are both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
When the virus first started spreading rapidly, British Airways initially suspended flights to mainland China on 29 January until 31 January. However, shortly thereafter, that was extended until 29 February. And now, British Airways has extended its cancelled China service until 31 March 2020.
Related reading: Complete guide to travelling during the deadly coronavirus outbreak
In addition, fellow U.K. carrier Virgin Atlantic has suspended its route between London Heathrow (LHR) and Shanghai (PVG) until 29 March.
Here is the latest on what U.K. carriers are advising passengers.
British Airways has cancelled all flights to both Beijing and Shanghai until 31 March 2020. All flights from Beijing and Shanghai have been cancelled until 1 April 2020. That said, flights to and from Hong Kong remain unaffected.
“This situation will remain under review and we will continue to provide regular updates”, British Airways said in a statement on its website. “If you have a booking with us, please make sure we have your contact details. We’ll do everything we can to help customers affected”.
Although Hong Kong flights are still operating, if you have a trip booked, BA is allowing you to change your plans. If you have a flight to or from Hong Kong up until 1 April 2020, you can rebook on another BA-operated flight at a later date or request a refund.
For travellers who have flights booked to or from China after 1 April, the airline said that it is continuing to review its plans.
In all cases, if your flight has been cancelled, you’ll be able to refund your ticket via the Manage My Booking page or by calling +44 (0)203 250 0145.
While the low-cost carrier doesn’t fly to China, it is advising passengers to be aware of restrictions at their final destination. The airline posted the following statement on 3 February 2020:
“Like all airlines, EasyJet received a notification that entry to Israel will be refused to customers who have been to China within fourteen days of their arrival in Israel. If your flight to Israel is within fourteen days of your return from China, please contact Customer Services who can assist you in amending your booking.”
As of 1 February 2020, Virgin Atlantic suspended its operations between London Heathrow (LHR) and Shanghai (PVG) until 29 March 2020. The next flight to operate the route is VS250, which will depart LHR on 29 March, returning as VS251 on 30 March.
If you had travel booked on the route, you can rebook until 31 May 2020. Customers can either rebook in the same booking class, reroute or refund. Full details of the terms associated with each option can be found on Virgin’s site.
In addition to the Shanghai cancellations, as of 10 February, the airline is allowing passengers who are not able to enter Hong Kong because of government restrictions to receive a full refund. You can find full details on Virgin’s site.
This story will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
Featured photo by Wangwukong/Getty Images.
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