As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow worldwide — and the death toll in China mounts — all three major U.S. carriers have announced suspensions of all flights to and from mainland China. The decisions came following the U.S. State Department's elevation of its China Travel
Advisory to a Level 4, indicating travelers should not visit.
American Airlines has suspended its operations to and from the Chinese mainland beginning today and will do so through March 27, according to a spokesperson. "Our teams are contacting affected customers directly to accommodate their needs," a statement reads. "We will continue to evaluate the schedule for March 28 and beyond and make any adjustments as necessary."
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines will both begin suspending all flights to and from the country on Feb. 6. United expects to resume flights March 28, according to a spokesperson, while Delta's suspension is planned through April 30. Until Feb. 5, both Delta and United will operate select flights from China for those seeking to exit the country.
Delta's last China-bound flight departing the U.S. will leave on Monday, Feb. 3, while United's last will be the following day, Feb. 4. The last return flight back to the U.S. from China on both carriers will leave Feb. 5. All carriers say they will make adjustments to those schedules if necessary.
"We will continue to operate one daily flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong," noted a United spokesperson. "As always, the safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops."
The World Health Organization yesterday declared the coronavirus epidemic a global health emergency, and efforts to contain its spread have led to dozens of airlines canceling flights or suspending service to the country altogether. American Airlines' immediate suspension of all flights to China comes after its pilots' union filed a lawsuit on Thursday to stop flights to the country.