The big three U.S. airlines American, Delta and United have revised their schedules and pushed the cancellations of mainland China & Hong Kong Routes until late April of 2020.
Carriers have previously suspended flights to the mainland until the end of March in reaction of a lawsuit from pilots unions which claimed danger for the crew when flying into potentially contaminated areas.
There is currently no sign of the Coronavirus outbreak slowing down and the airlines are reacting to a slump in passenger demand but also as they have problems with their own staff and their unions operating these flights.
American Airlines China & Hong Kong Travel Policy can be found here.
Due to the reduction in demand, American Airlines has extended the suspension of flying to and from mainland China and Hong Kong from our Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX) hubs.
- Flights between DFW/LAX and the mainland China are suspended through April 24.
- Flights between DFW and Hong Kong (HKG) are suspended through April 23.
- Flights between LAX and HKG are suspended through April 24.
We will continue to evaluate this schedule and make any adjustments as necessary.
This will thin out Americans schedule to Asia severely as they don’t operate that many routes to begin with.
Delta Air Lines also announced further suspensions of their routes.
Delta has decided to temporarily suspend all U.S. to China flying beginning Feb. 6 through April 30 due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus. Between now and Feb. 5, Delta will continue to operate flights to ensure customers looking to exit China have options to do so.
The last China-bound flight departing the U.S. will leave on Monday, Feb. 3 with the last return flight back to the U.S. departing China on Feb. 5. The airline will continue to monitor the situation closely and may make additional adjustments as the situation continues to evolve.
Customers whose travel plans are affected can go to the My Trips section of delta.com to help them understand their options, including:
- Reaccommodation to flights after April 30
- Requesting a refund
- Contacting Delta to discuss additional options.
Delta doesn’t serve Hong Kong anymore as they have abandoned that route quite some time ago and customer are being recommended to Korea Air instead.
You can access United Airlines cancellation policy here.
As we continue to evaluate our operation between our U.S. airport hub locations and Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai as well as Hong Kong, we have decided to extend the suspension of those flights until April 24. We will continue to monitor the situation and will evaluate our schedule as we remain in close contact with the CDC and other public health experts around the globe.
Please check united.com for important travel information as well as current travel waivers.
Citing “continued drop in demand” is certainly only half of the story. The carriers flew during SARS and even right now the planes aren’t entirely empty. The recent lawsuits representing the airlines pilots have put pressure on the carriers however.
In the end it likely gave them a welcome excuse to just pull the plug on flights right now, at least temporarily. Very inconvenient for those seeking to travel back to North America though and the remaining flights such as from Japan and Korea became quite expensive.