Finnair suspends five China services over virus passenger cancelations

A ban on group travel by the Chinese government means fewer passengers on some of Finnair's routes between Helsinki and China.

File picture of Finnair plane / Credit: Finnair

Finnair says it’s suspending a number of China flights due to a drop in passenger volumes as Chinese authorities enforce a partial travel ban.

The ban is in place across a range of transport modes like buses and trains, in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus which originated in the central city of Wuhan.

Finnair will cancel three weekly flights between Helsinki and Beijing’s Daxing International Airport from 5th February until 29th March; and two weekly flights between Helsinki and Nanjing from 8th February until 29th March.

“These cancellations are needed to manage the impacts of the recent suspension of group travel by Chinese authorities, which have a pronounced impact on the load factors of our Beijing Daxing and Nanjing flights” says Jaakko Schildt, Finnair’s Chief Operating Officer.

The company will continue to operate daily flights between Helsinki and Beijing Capital Airport, and to Shanghai. The twice-daily flights to Hong Kong, and twice-weekly flights to Guangzhou also remain unchanged at this time.

Finnair says that the first quarter of the year, and especially the weeks following Chinese New Year, are typically quieter periods on routes to China.

Customers who had a ticket issued before 28th January for any of the suspended routes will be contacted by the airline and offered either a change in travel date or destination, or a full ticket refund.

The airline will also allow anyone to change or cancel their flights to and from China if they have a ticked issued before 28th January for travel between 25th January and 29th February 2020.