Airlines cancel flights to Wuhan

published : 23 Jan 2020 at 14:12

Staff members wearing masks monitor thermal scanners that detect temperatures of passengers at Hankou railway station in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Tuesday. (Reutes photo)

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines' budget carrier Scoot, Taiwan's China Airlines and Malaysia's AisAsia on Thursday all cancelled daily flights to Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of a fast-spreading virus outbreak.

Online information showed Scoot cancelled its daily flight after Chinese authorities locked down Wuhan to combat the spread of the disease.

The airline did not immediately comment on the cancellation of the 6.55pm flight displayed on the website of Singapore's Changi airport.

In Taipei, China Airlines announced it would suspend flights to Wuhan until Feb 29.

China Airlines' flights from Taipei leave from the city's main Taoyuan international airport. Its sister carrier Mandarin Airlines is also cancelling flights from Taipei's smaller Songshan airport to Wuhan.

The airline said it would assist passengers who want to return to Wuhan to opt for other nearby destinations.

Malaysia's AirAsia later also announced the temporary cancellation of all flights to and from Wuhan.

China is putting on lockdown the city of 11 million considered the epicentre of an outbreak that has killed 17 and infected nearly 600, as global health authorities prepare against a pandemic.

Wuhan's local government said it would shut down urban transport networks and suspend flights from 10am (9am Thailand time) Thursday, state media reported, adding that authorities were urging residents not to leave, except in special circumstances.

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