Chinese airlines urged to maintain intl routes amid NCoV spread

International | Written by : IANS| Updated:

Chinese airlines urged to maintain intl routes amid NCoV spread

Beijing, Feb 6 (IANS) China's civil aviation regulator on Thursday urged all the country's airlines to maintain their international routes amid the coronavirus outbreak, that has killed 563 people in the Asian country so far.

Many Chinese airlines were trying their best to find ways to overcome difficulties, Xinhua news agency quoted Yu Biao, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, as saying in response to reports that many foreign airlines have suspended their flights to China.

Yu took Air China as an example, noting that the carrier was applying to open international multi-stop flights to pick up more passengers, which could be a good choice at such a hard time.

The administration also worked with the Foreign Ministry to send out a notice to the civil aviation regulators of over 70 countries to introduce China's prevention and control measures on outbound flights, customs and quarantine, Yu said.

"We hope this could eliminate unnecessary worries of those countries," Yu added.

Yu said the authorities in some countries and regions have expressed their trust that the measures are safe and effective and responded positively to the resumption of flights.

The development comes after more than 30 global airlines have halted flights to and from mainland China as coronavirus infections continue to increase at an accelerated rate.

Italy suspended all flights from China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, until April 28, said the South China Morning Post in a report.

AirAsia Philippines said it was no longer offering flights to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau and that the measure would be in place until March 1.

Air India will suspend its New Delhi-Hong Kong service from Saturday after it earlier halted flights to Shanghai.

On Thursday, Japan's ANA announced that it was suspending services on some China and Hong Kong routes due to the coronavirus.

But the World Health Organization has said that such limits on trade and travel were not needed to control the spread of the virus.