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Finnair suspends five weekly routes to China due to coronavirus

The airline said it still plans to continue shuttling passengers to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

Finnairplan i luften.
File photo of Finnair jet. Image: Yle/ Henrietta Hassinen.

Finland's national airline Finnair announced on Tuesday the firm is temporarily suspending routes to Nanjing and Beijing Daxing, China until the end of March.

The company said the reason for the break was due to China's ban on group travel from the country, prompted by the outbreak of the new coronavirus, a contagious disease which has killed at least 106 people in China and infected more than 4,500 others.

Finnair flights to Beijing Daxing will be suspended from 5 February through 29 March and the airline will temporarily cancel its Nanjing route between 8 Feburary to 29 March. Finnair normally shuttles passengers to Beijing Daxing three times a week and to Nanjing twice each week.

Other flights to China still confirmed

However, Finnair said it still plans to continue its regular daily routes to Beijing Capital and Shanghai, twice daily to Hong Kong, and twice a week to Guangzhou.

The firm said China's group travel ban had a major impact on the number of passengers on the suspended routes.

"These cancellations are needed to manage the impacts of the recent suspension of group travel by Chinese authorities, which have a pronounced impact on the load factors of our Beijing Daxing and Nanjing flights," Jaakko Schildt, Finnair's COO, said in a statement.

The company estimated that the financial impact of the cancellations and ticket refunds would be moderate.

Finnair noted that it is allowing passengers to change or cancel flights to and from Greater China (or travel between 25 January - 29 February) if the tickets were issued before 28 January.

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