Coronavirus leads United Airlines to cancel some China flights over virus fears

Coronavirus outbreak has reduced demand for flights to China, airline says

United Airlines is canceling two dozen flights to China next week because of the coronavirus outbreak which has infected thousands of people.

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The company was suspending some flights from Newark, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai from Feb. 1-8 because of decreased demand caused by the virus, a spokesperson told FOX Business. However, not all of United’s flights to or from China have been canceled.

“We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and will adjust our schedule as needed,” the spokesperson said.

United Airlines planes are seen at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

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United had already offered no-fee travel waivers to change flights to major Chinese cities through the end of February. In Wuhan, where the virus was first identified, United is offering refunds to travelers through March 29.

American Airlines is also offering to waive fees for passengers to Beijing or Shanghai who delay their trips.

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Passengers wearing masks wait in a line to check-in to a flight to Shanghai at the Vaclav Havel International Airport in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK CAUSES AMERICAN AIRLIFT OF CITIZENS FROM CHINA

The airlines offered the waivers after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “level 3” travel warning, advising against any nonessential travel to China. The CDC has also set up quarantine stations and coronavirus screening for passengers arriving from China at 20 U.S. airports.

As of earlier Tuesday, there were 4,515 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Chinese National Health Commission. At least 106 people have died in China from the virus. There were five confirmed cases in the United States and more than 100 possible cases being monitored by the CDC.

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