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Two of the biggest airlines in the U.S.—Delta and American Airlines—have announced they will suspend all flights between the U.S. and China, due to coronavirus. According to The Associated Press, this makes them the first U.S.-based airlines to stop flights, joining several other international carriers.
American will halt the flights starting Friday, January 31 and running through March 27. Delta, on the other hand, plans to wait until February 6 to suspend China operations to help travelers in China leave the country. Delta added it will stop the flights through April 30.
United Airlines, the only other U.S. carrier with direct flights to China, has announced it will reduce but not stop service to China. All three of the U.S. carriers, according to The AP, have reported a steep decline in bookings to China.
British Airways previously reported it had suspended all flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai; it was originally in effect through January 31 but has been extended until February 29.
The suspended flights come on the heels of The U.S. State Department upgrading its travel advisory for China to its highest level, Level 4: Do Not Travel, due to the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Several cruise lines, including Crystal Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have already cancelled calls in various cities in China and Hong Kong. On Thursday, Costa Cruises’ Costa Smerelda was locked down and prevented passengers from disembarking in Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy on Thursday due to a suspected case of coronavirus onboard before, ultimately, continuing sailing after it was concluded the passenger has the flu.