By Isha Sesay • 29 January 2020 • 21:30
SPAIN’S Iberia has announced that it will suspend its flights with the city of Shanghai in China, due to increasing fears over the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
A spokesperson for the airline stated that they reached the decision after a health alert was issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who evaluated the situation to be ‘high risk.’
The suspension of flights will take effect from Friday, January 31 and during the entire month of February. It is understood that customers with tickets issued to fly on the route will be offered a refund or change of departure date and that Iberia will contact other airlines to find alternative solutions for those who need to return to their place of origin.
Iberia will continue to analyse the spread of coronavirus and determine whether it is necessary to prolong the suspension which has been enforced – “for reasons that are of greater cause, and for the safety of our customers and employees.”
The move comes after British Airways and Lufthansa suspended flights to and from China, while agencies and tour operators have also advocated suspending trips to the country. The IAG air group, who operate British Airways, had enforced the blockage after the British Foreign Ministry recommended civilians to not travel to China, where so far, coronavirus has claimed the lives of 132 people.
From February, American Airlines and United Airlines have also suspended part of its service to China claiming a fall in demand. The Hong Kong flag airline, Cathay Pacific, has opted for a progressive reduction on its flights to China, also ceasing to provide some services on board such as hot towels, blankets and magazines.
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