Growing Number Airlines Suspend Flights to China


At least 9 airlines have halted or reduced flights to China. People are smartly cancelling travel plans.

The number of people in China infected has now surpassed that of SARS nearly two decades ago.

The totally inept World Health Organization (WHO) will weigh in on Thursday

Meanwhile, airlines led by actual humans, have started to act rationally.

For example, a growing number of Airlines Suspend Flights to China

British Airways and Indonesia’s Lion Air said on Wednesday they would halt all flights to mainland China, and American Airlines said it would suspend flights from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Beijing, citing a significant decline in demand for travel.

In a matter of weeks, the pathogen has killed at least 132 people and infected 5,997 people in China, according to the World Health Organization. That latter number topped SARS, which also originated in China, killing 349 people and infecting 5,327 on the Chinese mainland during its nine-month outbreak in 2002 and 2003. The number of SARS infections world-wide—8,098—is still higher than the total for the new coronavirus—6,065, according to the WHO.

Evacuations Then Detentions

  • US: A plane carrying more than 200 Americans arrived on Wednesday morning at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif. The passengers were screened multiple times—twice in China before being allowed to board the flight and again after the plane stopped in Anchorage, Alaska, to refuel. They will be screened again in California and temporarily housed there for a period of time, according to Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services.
  • UK: Matt Hancock, secretary of state for health and social care in the U.K., tweeted Wednesday that the government is working on evacuating its citizens from Wuhan and that all passengers would be isolated for 14 days upon arrival.
  • Australia: The country has roughly 600 citizens in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, said it would also evacuate its citizens and quarantine them in a detention center on remote Christmas Island, an Australian territory typically used to house asylum seekers.

Some US citizens are still stranded in Wuhan.

Other Actions

  • UAE The United Arab Emirates’s Health Ministry said Wednesday that a family of four visiting from Wuhan had contracted the new coronavirus.
  • Kazakhstan Which shares a border with China, said Wednesday that it would suspend all transport links to the country in addition to stopping the issuance of entry visas to Chinese citizens over the coronavirus.
  • Georgia was suspending all direct air traffic with China as a preventive measure
  • Russia all tour operators have stopped selling tours to China, including charter flights, according to Russia’s national tourism agency, Rostourism.
  • Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday urged residents to return home from the mainland immediately and to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days after.

Airline Cancellations

CNN has an even bigger list of airline cancellations.

British Airways, United Airlines, American Airlines, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Air India, IndiGo, Lufthansa and Finnair have announced plans to slash the number of flights they are operating to China or stop flying to the country entirely. Other airlines are offering customers refunds.

Thinking People Lead to Cancellations

  • United Airlines said "significant decline in demand" had forced it to suspend flights from February 1 through February 8 between its US hubs and Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
  • Air Canada (ACDVF), which has 33 weekly flights to China, has also canceled select flights due to a reduction in demand.
  • Air Asia (AIABF), which has flights from Thailand and Malaysia to Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, said it has suspended all flights to the city until February 29.
  • Air India said on Twitter that its flight between Shanghai (PVG) and Mumbai, which goes via Delhi, has been canceled from January 31 to February 14. IndiGo, its rival, has suspended flights from Delhi to Chengdu (CTU) from February 1 until February 20 due to a high number of cancellations by customers.

Expect that list to grow as taunts come in.

For those who could not read things the first time, here is the statement regarding Coronavirus Geometric Progression once again.

To be absolutely clear, this is NOT a prediction that 100 million people will be infected by Feb 20. Rather, this has been its growth rate for the last 12 days. A vaccine, mutation or successful quarantine/isolation could help reduce this growth rate.

Pater Tenebrarum at the Acting Man blog chimed in "The mocking may well be a kind of contrary indicator. As one guy sagely remarked, it would be quite odd for China to basically shut down large swaths of its economy for a harmless little cold In fact, they seem extremely concerned."

60 million people in China are locked down and charlatans pass this off as if it's nothing. The economic hit to China is already huge.

But oh, the Flu is worse (based on "official" reports from China that are dismissed as lies by those on the front line). The death total is a guaranteed lie as well.

The fact is, we don't know what the facts are.

Emergency at Hand

Outside China, people have seen the WHO and CDC inaction and have decided they will not wait for an official declaration of an emergency.

And if the virus does stop spreading globally, which by the way I actually suspect, it will not be due to the WHO, but citizens and airlines acting responsibly, refusing to take more risks.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (32)
No. 1-10

You wonder if coronavirus is really that bad, or if the CCP is sees an opportunity to be the responsible adult in the room. I suppose the two are not mutually exclusive.....


We are debating cancelling a domestic trip we have planned for the week of February 16th to a large populated city with international flights to everywhere. A lot of it will depend on what happens between now and the week before.


Common sense says nobody with an IQ higher than body temperature would go there, and airlines don't like flying empty planes. Unless I was seriously into bat soup, or snake steak, I would even cancel any future plans.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"The fact is, we don't know what the facts are."


Yes. I do admit a chuckle at some in MSM questioning China's interpretation ... the same people who, though, take their word as gospel on economic numbers.


All media, mainstream and "alternative" are being hysterical about this, but a few skeptical people are a "contrary indicator". Must be some new definition of the word "contrarian"



Speaking of definitions, please define your understanding of the word "hysterical."

Excellent question by CautiousObserver.
I can only find one case of what I would label Hysteria


FWIW, I see a global recession on the horizon b/c of coronavirus. The supply chains are going to get royally screwed up. Companies are issuing supply risk assessments to external facing staff in order to deal with supply issues/continuity questions from suppliers, vendors and customers. I deal quite a bit with Asia excluding China and given entire supply chains for many products use southeast Asia, Taiwan and South Korea, I see no way this doesn't impact growth.



Hysteria Defined

"To be absolutely clear, this is NOT a prediction that 100 million people will be infected by Feb 20. Rather, this has been its growth rate for the last 12 days. A vaccine, mutation or successful quarantine/isolation could help reduce this growth rate."

That was in red by Bianco, and in Bold by me. I cannot do colors.

For sure, deaths and stats are underreported


I wonder how the Corona Virus will affect Tesla's China production? Shanghai is only 500 miles from Wuhan. If Musk's Gigafactory has to shut down for an extended period, he can't sell as many cars which means he has less revenue to service that debt.

Chip Talk
Chip Talk

Talking about W.H.O look at how they handled ebola outbreak...inefficient and always in wait mode until things getting worse. these old protocol obviously need changes and evolve. We need to act based on dynamic evaluation not based on a piece of standard chart/number. Do we have to wait until more dead/infected people before we take action for this case. Just another money pit organization, comes down to inefficient/unqualified leadership. Doctors, nurses, scientists, front lines work their asses off and risks their lives but W.H.O leadership is pure BS.

Global Economics