BA suspends all flights to China as coronavirus fears rise

BA suspends all flights to China as coronavirus fears rise

BA suspends all flights to China as coronavirus fears rise

News broke on Wednesday that British Airways (LON:IAG) has suspended all of its direct flights to and from China.

Shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group were up during trading on Wednesday.

The suspension of flights comes as fears over the coronavirus mount.

The virus outbreak has killed 132 people in China, with almost 6,000 people infected.

The coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan City, China.

The World Health Organisation has warned travellers to avoid coming into close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections, as well as avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals.

Earlier this week on Tuesday, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advised against all travel to mainland China, unless it is absolutely essential.

It added that British people who currently find themselves in China should make a decision based on their own personal circumstances as to whether or not they should remain.

It warned that travel may become increasingly difficult over the next few days.

Indeed, British Airways’ decision to suspend all direct flights to and from mainland China shows how airlines are trying to contain the spreading of the virus.

“Due to the increasing travel restrictions and the public health situation, we now advise against all but essential travel to China,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab commented on the situation.

“We are also working urgently to finalise arrangements for an assisted departure from Hubei Province for British nationals this week, and are in contact with people in Hubei to ensure they register their interest and that we can keep them updated,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab continued.

“The UK continues to be guided by the latest medical advice about the coronavirus outbreak. The safety and security of British people will always be our top priority.”

Shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) were up on Wednesday, trading at +0.68% as of 11:13 GMT.