After announcing last month it was temporarily suspending all direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai until February 29 amidst growing concern surrounding coronavirus, Air Canada said on Tuesday it has extended that timeline until April 10 – a move it said is reflective of “reduced market demand.”
The suspension follows the Government of Canada’s advisory to avoid non-essential travel to mainland China in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan.
“Air Canada will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada and Global Affairs and will adjust its schedule as appropriate,” the airline said. “The airline’s daily, non-stop Vancouver-Hong Kong flights will accommodate customers originally booked on its Toronto-Hong Kong flights.”
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Air Canada normally operates 14 weekly flights to Hong Kong, seven from Toronto, and seven from Vancouver.
Flights to and from Taipei remain unaffected.
Customers who are impacted will be notified and offered options, including travel on other carriers where available or a full refund, the airline says.
Symptoms of the illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and most cases have been linked to the Huanan Seafood Market (also known as Wuhan South China Seafood City and South China Seafood Wholesale Market), according to the Government of Canada.