Virgin Atlantic extends suspension of China flights by six weeks

Virgin Atlantic has extended the suspension of its flights to mainland China by six weeks amid growing concern over the coronavirus.

The airline said it will not operate its Heathrow-Shanghai route until March 28.

It had previously announced that flights were cancelled until February 17.

A spokesman for the airline said: “The health and safety of our customers and staff remains our absolute priority.

“We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very carefully, including the latest guidance from the World Health Organisation and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which on Tuesday issued new guidance to UK citizens to leave China if they are able to do so.

“Given this new FCO advice, the increasing entry restrictions on recent visitors to mainland China, and our rigorous focus on safety, Virgin Atlantic has opted to extend the suspension of Heathrow-Shanghai operations until 28th March 2020.”

Passengers can obtain a refund and are urged to contact the airline to discuss their travel plans.

The other UK airline to serve mainland China – British Airways – has suspended its flights serving Beijing and Shanghai until February 29.

Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines halted its Manchester-Beijing route earlier this week.

But the country’s three main airlines – Air China, China Eastern and China Southern – are continuing to operate flights to London.

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