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American and Delta stop flights to China, widening virus disruption


AMERICAN Airlines has stopped flying to Beijing and Shanghai and will resume services on March 27 due to health concerns from the coronavirus outbreak, as a flight suspension spreads to the US.

Meanwhile, Delta said it would halt service starting February 6 to give customers looking to leave China a way to do so. The airline announced that it will restart flights April 30.

The shutdown of air links between the US and China is deepening the disruption from the coronavirus, which has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). The halt of flights to Beijing and Shanghai underscores the rising concern, since both cities are hundreds of miles from the focus of the outbreak around Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.

Before the US government issued its warning, United Airlines announced plans to pare service to China but hadn't halted all flights. European carriers including British Airways, Air France and Deutsche Lufthansa AG had already announced plans to stop flying to China.

American, which will continue flying to Hong Kong, said it would work to re-accommodate passengers after the immediate halt to service to Beijing and Shanghai.

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