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Singapore Airlines, SilkAir suspend some flights to China over coronavirus outbreak

Singapore Airlines, SilkAir suspend some flights to China over coronavirus outbreak

SilkAir and Singapore Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Changi Airport. (Photo: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its regional wing SilkAir will suspend some flights to China after fears over the novel coronavirus outbreak affected demand "significantly", Singapore's national carrier said on Monday (Feb 10).

"Minimum connectivity" to several key cities will be maintained, SIA said.

The move comes after demand for air travel between Singapore and China declined significantly as a result of the outbreak, said SIA on its website.

As a result, services to some Chinese destinations will be "temporarily suspended until the situation improves", it added.

Several SIA flights between Singapore and Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou will be suspended between Feb 4 and Mar 29. 

Some SilkAir flights between Singapore and Shenzhen, Xiamen, Chengdu and Chongqing will be halted during that period.

SIA said that the group will maintain some connectivity to key cities.

In response to queries, SIA told CNA that following the reduced frequencies, it will operate seven flights each to Beijing and Shanghai weekly, thrice a week to Guangzhou and once a week to Chongqing.

"There are still many Singaporeans working and living in China now, many of whom will still require connectivity between Singapore and China," said SIA.

"As the national carrier, we will continue to maintain minimum connectivity to the key cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing for now despite the reduced demand," added SIA.

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SIA had said on Jan 31 said it would reduce capacity on some of its routes to China in February due to the growing scale of the coronavirus epidemic.

SIA's low-cost carrier Scoot also suspended flights to 11 Chinese cities from early February until the end of March and reduced frequencies to eight other Chinese destinations.

The virus has infected 43 people in Singapore as of Sunday, six of whom have been discharged.

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Source: CNA/jt


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