Wuhan coronavirus: Scoot to suspend all flights between Singapore and mainland China

Wuhan coronavirus: Scoot to suspend all flights between Singapore and mainland China

Scoot air planes are seen on the tarmac at Singapore's Changi Airport
Scoot airplanes on the tarmac at Changi Airport. (File photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Scoot will suspend all flights between Singapore and mainland China from Feb 8 due to the "growing scale" of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 200 people in China and sickened thousands.

The Singapore Airlines Group's low-cost carrier said in an update on Friday (Jan 31) that the suspension was due to weak demand and “operational constraints” arising from the coronavirus situation.

Scoot had earlier said on Friday morning that it will suspend flights to 11 cities in mainland China from early February until the end of March and that it will reduce frequencies to eight other Chinese destinations.

READ: Wuhan coronavirus: Singapore to widen travel restrictions to all new visitors who recently travelled to mainland China

Scoot had also said customers should expect ad-hoc cancellations of Singapore-Hong Kong and Singapore-Macau flights from Feb 1 to Mar 28.

Affected customers booked on these flights will receive a full refund of unused itinerary value via the customer’s original mode of payment, Scoot said. 

Table of suspended Scoot flights as of Jan 31
A list of suspended Scoot flights. (Table: Scoot website)

Flight frequencies will be reduced for the cities of Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Qingdao and Tianjin from Feb 1 to Feb 7, before the suspension on Feb 8.

From Feb 2, flights operating to or from mainland China will also have limited in-flight services with no sales of any food and beverage items and duty-free products.

READ: Wuhan virus outbreak - At a glance

Scoot said that all customers will be provided with a food pack, including water, and that any pre-purchased meals and pre-paid items will be refunded back to the original mode of payment.

From 11.59pm on Saturday, new visitors with recent travel history to mainland China will not be allowed to enter or transit in Singapore.

Taiwan has temporarily restricted entry to some Chinese passport holders while Malaysia has also issued a notice to temporarily halt entry to travellers from Hubei province, Scoot said.

In light of these developments, Scoot said that affected passengers on flights to Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia who meet the above conditions may not be allowed to board Scoot’s flights.

“In compliance with the directives, Scoot will be conducting passport checks during check-in,” the carrier said.

Disinfectants, hand sanitisers and surgical masks will be provided on all flights, in case they are required by crew and passengers. 

All cabin crew and pilots will also have to undergo a "temperature check protocol", Scoot added.

“Our ground handling agent staff are on standby at various touchpoints in Changi Airport to assist passengers who are unwell and direct them to healthcare assistants as required.

“We continue to advise all passengers to practise good personal hygiene and urge you to seek medical attention if you are feeling unwell. We are also continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates where necessary,” Scoot said.  

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage on the Wuhan coronavirus and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the Wuhan virus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram 

Source: CNA/zl