British Airways suspends flight bookings to China

London, Jan 29, 2020 –

British Airways announced on Wednesday that it has suspended bookings on its website for direct flights from London to Beijing and Shanghai until March, after warnings over travel to China due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

BA.com, the UK flag carrier’s website, shows no direct flights to China were available for January and February, the Metro newspaper said in a report.

In a statement, British Airways said: “We have suspended all flights to and from mainland China with immediate effect following advice from the Foreign Office against all but essential travel.

“We apologise to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.”

An airlines spokeswoman said that the company was “assessing the situation”.

BA operates daily flights to Shanghai and Beijing from London’s Heathrow Airport.

On Tuesday, the UK Foreign Office advised against “all but essential” travel to mainland China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Urgent plans to bring Britons back from the coronavirus-hit Chinese province of Hubei were being finalised by the government, the Metro report said.

However, the deadline for those stuck in the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, and surrounding areas to contact the British consulate expressing their wish to leave passed at 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

Flights taking Britons back home could begin as early as Thursday, according to a British teacher in Wuhan city who said UK citizens were being given details of forthcoming flights.

The death toll in the country has risen to 132, with confirmed infections surging to nearly 6,000.

Four cases have been confirmed in Germany, making it the second European country to report cases, after France.  (Agency)

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