Jan 29, 2020

British Airways suspends all flights to and from China over coronavirus

A British Airways Boeing 747 at Beijing's Capital Airport. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China in response to the coronavirus, the airline confirmed in a statement to news outlets Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: It's the first major international carrier to suspend flights to China. No direct flights to China are currently available on BA.com, the airline's website, for January through February. "We apologise to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority," the statement reads.

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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.

Go deeperArrowJan 31, 2020 - World

American Airlines union sues to pause flights between China and U.S.

China Airlines cabin crew at the San Francisco International Airport in Millbrae, California, Jan. 28. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An American Airlines pilots' union sued the company on Thursday to temporarily halt all flights between the U.S. and China, the Financial Times reports, citing "serious" health threats from the coronavirus.

What they're saying: "We estimate that as many as 300 passengers and crew travel to DFW alone from Chinese cities on each American Airlines flight,” said Eric Ferguson, president of the union — representing 15,000 pilots. American Airlines previously stated it would cancel flights between Los Angeles and China from Feb. 9 through March 27, citing a decline in demand.

Go deeperArrowJan 30, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health