Jan 31, 2020 - World

Airlines cut back on U.S.-China flights due to coronavirus fears

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 aircraft. Photo: Nik Oik/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Several airlines — including major U.S. carriers like Delta, United and American — are suspending some or all of their China flights through February because of coronavirus fears.

The big picture: Airlines said demand for flights to China has plummeted due to the virus' spread. Large companies in other industries — from technology to packaged food — have suspended business trips, CNBC reports.

The carriers suspending all or some travel to China:

The state of play: Airlines still offering flights, like Cathay Pacific are minimizing contact — no longer offering snacks, hot towels, pillows, blankets and magazines to passengers, per CNN.

  • United, American and Delta have waived change and cancellation fees for China-bound travelers through the end of February, CNN reports.

What to watch: Other airlines may soon decide to follow suit — or expand their cancellations. A pilots' union for American filed a lawsuit to force the company to stop its already-reduced China flights.

Go deeper ... Coronavirus: The latest developments

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Delta aims to become first "carbon neutral" airline

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Delta Airlines is spending $1 billion over the next decade to essentially cancel out all of its future greenhouse gas emissions beginning March 1, the company announced Friday.

The big picture: Delta is the world’s biggest airline by revenue, and this news is the latest in a rapidly growing trend of corporations announcing climate-change goals in response to public and investor pressure.

Storm Ciara causes floods and travel disruption in northern Europe

A flooded street in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, in northern England on Sunday. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Storm Ciara has unleashed heavy rains, hurricane-force winds and floods in northern Europe, causing widespread travel disruption, EuroNews reports.

Details: "Two of Europe's busiest airports — one in Frankfurt, Germany, the other in Amsterdam, Netherlands — each grounded more than 100 flights due to the storm," per CNN. Airlines also reported that flights were canceled or disrupted in the U.K., where the national weather agency issued over 250 flood warnings. Several British rail firms warned people to expect delays and urged them not to travel, AP notes.

Go deeper: British Airways rides storm winds in record-breaking transatlantic flight

Investors get bullish after WHO lauds China's coronavirus response

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press briefing on the evolution of new coronavirus epidemic. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. stocks ended the day higher on Thursday after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak that has spread to at least 19 countries, killing more than 200 people and infecting nearly 10,000, more a global emergency.

What it means: The declaration was taken as good news by bullish investors because the international organization said China's "unprecedented response" and international cooperation would "reverse the tide" and contain the outbreak.