NEW DELHI: Air India and IndiGo — the only Indian carriers that fly to China — on Wednesday suspended flights to the country that is reeling under the novel coronavirus (nCoV). Other global airlines like British Airways, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific were among the first to stop services to China.
While AI suspended flights from Delhi to Shanghai from January 31 till February 14, the private carrier put a hold on services on the Bengaluru-Hong Kong route from February 1 and on Delhi-Chengdu from February 1 to 20.
IndiGo said these are temporary and precautionary measures, adding it will continue to operate the Kolkata-Guangzhou flight for now, but will “monitor it on a daily basis”.
According to sources, many airlines have advised its crew members working on flights between India and Southeast Asia to wear N95 masks. India, which started preparations to evacuate its citizens stuck in Hubei, said on Wednesday it has sought China’s permission to operate two fly Indian nationals out.
In India, many people are under observation in hospitals in Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha and Delhi.
People returning to the country after visiting China are being regularly screened for the deadly virus at airports across the country.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday ordered the military to do whatever it takes to contain the virus spread.