The Finnish airline Finnair has announced the cancellation of all flights to China, because of the coronavirus epidemic in the Asian country.
In a press release, Finnair says that "the health and wellbeing of customers and personnel is a top priority for Finnair."
Following a thorough analysis of all currently available information on the coronavirus and its impacts on air travel to and from China, Finnair has decided to:
- Cancel all its flights to mainland China between February 6 and February 29, 2020.
- Cancel its flights to Guangzhou between February 5 and March 29.
- Stop accepting bookings for its mainland China flights between January 31 and February 29.
Finnair has earlier communicated the cancellation of its Beijing Daxing and Nanjing flights between February 5 and March 29 and between February 8 and March 29 respectively, and this is still valid. The airline will continue its operations to Hong Kong.
Return to Europe
In order to allow people who are currently traveling to return home to Europe and China, Finnair will operate flights between its Helsinki hub and its mainland China destinations until February 6. Finnair strives to offer customers, who have bookings on the cancelled flights a rebooking on one of the remaining flights.
“Our customers who are currently traveling want to return home to Europe and China, and we also want to bring our employees home to their respective bases in Finland and China. These flights are necessary with a view to the number of customers we have in Europe and China and the limited availability of alternative flights at the moment,” says Jaakko Schildt, Chief Operating Officer, Finnair.
“We will operate these flights taking into account all instructions by health authorities, and with additional measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of both passengers and crew," he added.
Normally, Finnair has 35 weekly return flights from Helsinki to Greater China (Hong Kong, Beijing Capital Airport, Beijing Daxing Airport, Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou) during the 2020 winter season.
Finnair is continuously analyzing the situation and its impact on air travel, conducting a close dialogue with responsible authorities. "Decisions concerning flights after February 29 will be made in due course," the company said.