Finnair cancels all mainland China flights over coronavirus epidemic

The airline's new policy brings it into line with other international carriers like SAS and British Airways.

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File photo of Finnair plane / Credit; News Now Finland

Finnair says it is temporarily canceling all services to mainland China starting on Wednesday and Thursday, and isn’t taking any more China flight bookings for at least a month.

The decision comes a few days after Finland’s national carrier said it was temporarily suspending some services to Beijing’s Daxing Airport and to Nanjing, due to a drop in passenger numbers.

However, the new flight ban extends to all mainland China destinations, although Hong Kong flights services remain operational for the time being.

Finnair’s decision brings it into line with OneWorld partner British Airways, and with regional carrier SAS. Both airlines announced last week that they’d be stopping services to mainland China.

Coronavirus cases spreading 

The coronavirus, which started in the central China city of Wuhan, has now spread to all regions of the country.

More than 14,000 people have been infected and 300 deaths have been reported.

The first death from coronavirus outside China has been confirmed by authorities in the Philippines. The patient was a 44-year old man from Wuhan, and officials says he traveled from Hong Kong to Manila after becoming infected.

The virus can be transmitted from person-to-person, and a number of countries including the USA and Australia have banned the arrival of foreigners from China, or requiring their own citizens to be quarantined.