Foreign flag carriers cut back flight services to S. Korea amid virus outbreak

2020.02.24 13:04:44 | 2020.02.24 14:57:14

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Foreign flag carriers have started to roll back flights to South Korea on the alarming spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Philippine Airlines on Friday announced that its flights PR 468 and PR 469 connecting Incheon, Korea and Manila, Philippines will be temporarily suspended from next month. Another two Philippine Airlines flights – PR 418 and PR 419 on Busan, Korea – Manila route – will suspend flights on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from March 2 until 30.

The Filipino airliner already has temporarily stopped operation between Incheon and Clark. The airline said it will allow travelers with flights booked during the period to change the schedule or cancel without penalties.

Singapore Airlines also announced a temporary reduction in flight frequencies to and from Korea last week. It has canceled flights connecting Busan and Singapore on Feb 26, March 2 and 6. The Incheon - Singapore flight schedules will be reduced until March 26. Singapore Airlines is responsible for nearly 88 percent of all flights from Korea to Singapore, according to the Korean transport ministry’s data.

Ahead of those two airlines, Japan Airlines, Thai Airways, and Vietnam Airlines announced a temporary suspension of some flights to and from Korea. Japan Airlines will fly on a reduced schedule on Busan-Narita, Gimpo-Haneda routes. Thai Airways has canceled some flights to eight countries including Korea due to reduced travel demand amid virus outbreak.

As of Monday morning, Korea reported 763 confirmed coronavirus cases and seven deaths linked to the virus. Over 6,000 people are undergoing quarantine and virus checks.

By Choi Keun-do and Cho Jeehyun

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