SAS stops all flights to Beijing and Shanghai due to the Wuhan virus. Flights to Hong Kong continue as normal.
Flights to the two cities will be halted over the period from Friday to February 9th, the airline said on Thursday.
SAS will also stop selling tickets to Beijing and Shanghai until February 29th.
“The decision was made after a comprehensive assessment, and safety assessments related to our travelers and our own personnel. We are in close, ongoing dialogue with the authorities, both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and health authorities, and we receive good advice from a competent team,” says information manager Knut Morten Johansen of SAS to NTB.
The hitherto unknown type of coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan in December. In China, the virus has taken 170 lives, and more than 7,000 people have been infected.
Johansen says that SAS experiences the situation as escalating and constantly changing.
The company, which flies to Beijing and Shanghai from Copenhagen, joins Thursday’s decision by a series of companies that have canceled routes to China due to the Wuhan virus.
German airline Lufthansa announced on Wednesday that they are canceling all flights to China for the same reason. The decision also includes Lufthansa’s subsidiaries Swiss International Air Lines and Austrian Airlines.
On Thursday, Air France announced that they would suspend all scheduled flights until February 9th. In the meantime, the company will make flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing to ensure a “safe return” of customers and employees.
British Airways, EgyptAir and Indonesian Lion Air have also announced that they are canceling all flights to and from China. In addition, Russian Ural Airlines has announced that several flights to Europe have been canceled.
On Thursday afternoon, the World Health Organization (WHO) is holding a meeting to assess whether the virus outbreak should be declared an international public health crisis.
The disease can manifest itself as a mild cold, cause common flu symptoms or have a serious fatal outcome.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today