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British Airways has today suspended all flights to mainland China with 'immediate effect' amid the escalating coronavirus crisis which has killed 130 people.
The airline halted all bookings on its website for direct flights from London to Beijing and Shanghai until March, following the Foreign Office's unprecedented advice last night urging Britons not to travel to mainland China unless their visit is essential.
Flights - Hong - Kong - Passengers - Airline
Flights to Hong Kong will continue - but passengers will have to use a different airline to head on to the Chinese mainland. It is not yet clear how BA will bring back its thousands of customers booked on flights to the UK from China over the coming weeks.
The coronavirus outbreak has killed 132 people across China and more than 6,000 around the world have caught the highly infectious pneumonia-like infection, with cases having risen dramatically in the past week.
BA - Spokesman - 'We - Apologise - Customers
A BA spokesman said: 'We apologise to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority. Customers due to travel to or from China in the coming days can find more information on BA.com.'
United Airlines, the biggest US carrier to China, has also announced it will be cutting 24 flights in near-term to China and the White House is said to be considering stopping all US-China flights completely to stop the virus spreading.
Hundreds - Expats - City - Wuhan - Outbreak
Hundreds of British expats stuck in the deserted city of Wuhan – the outbreak's epicentre – are expected to begin flying home tomorrow in a landmark evacuation mission organised by the British Government, which had been accused of dragging its feet in the delay of rescuing residents from a 'death sentence'.
But ministers have not officially confirmed the repatriation and British nationals stranded in the region claim they have not been given a set time or concrete...
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