Coronavirus: Delta speeds up suspension of US-China flights
- Delta had planned to end all China flights by February 6
- The airline said the last China-bound flights will now leave on Saturday and the last returning flights from China will depart China on Sunday
Delta Air Lines said on Saturday it will accelerate the suspension of flights in and out of China from the United States after the White House said it was imposing new restrictions on visitors due to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Delta had planned to end all China flights by February 6. The airline said the last China-bound flights will now leave on Saturday and the last returning flights from China will depart China on Sunday.
China is facing mounting isolation from international travel curbs and flight suspensions as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 259.
The epidemic has led to evacuations of foreign citizens, particularly from Hubei province and its capital Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – and risks exacerbating a slowdown in growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
All three major US airlines – including United and American Airlines – have announced the cancellation of flights to mainland China.
The Trump administration on Friday declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak and said it would take the extraordinary step of barring entry to the United States of foreign nationals who have travelled to China. That ban does not apply to family members of citizens, or permanent residents with US green cards.