German airline Lufthansa extends China flight ban over coronavirus

AFP - [email protected]
German airline Lufthansa extends China flight ban over coronavirus
Photo: DPA

German airline giant Lufthansa said Friday it would prolong its suspension of flights to the Chinese mainland until March 28 over the novel coronavirus COVID-19.


"The Lufthansa Group has now decided to cancel the flights of Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines from/to Beijing and Shanghai until the end of the winter timetable on 28th March" rather than 29th February, the group said in  a statement.

Lufthansa flights to Nanjing, Shenyang and Qingdao were already cancelled until the same date.


Meanwhile the group will respond to reduced demand for Hong Kong flights by cancelling some flights by flagship carrier Lufthansa and using smaller planes on Swiss connections.

Passengers whose flight has been cancelled can change their booking at no charge or receive a full refund, Lufthansa said.

On Thursday, UN body the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) estimated almost 20 million fewer passengers would travel to and from China in the first quarter compared with expectations, costing the airline industry up to $5 billion in revenue worldwide.

The novel coronavirus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

It has so far infected thousands of people and the worldwide death toll is at around 1,370, making it more deadly than the SARS crisis nearly two decades ago.

The virus has since spread to more than 24 countries despite many governments imposing unprecedented travel bans on people coming from China.

Several cases have been detected in Germany, with all patients are being treated in isolation wards.

Dozens of global airlines have halted flight services with China to contain the outbreak, including British Airways and Air Canada.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Demand for face masks in Germany jumps - but do they actually work?



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