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IndiGo, AI cancel several China-bound flights

IndiGo, AI cancel several China-bound flights
NEW DELHI: IndiGo and Air India -- the only two Indian carriers that fly to China -- have started curtailing their flights to the country due to the coronavirus outbreak + . While IndiGo will suspend its Delhi-Chengdu and Bengaluru-Hong Kong daily from February 1, it will continue the Kolkata-Guangzhou flights 'for now'.

Air India (AI) will suspend its Delhi-Shanghai from January 31 to February 14. AI operates this flight six times weekly. However, the Maharaja's Mumbai-Delhi-Hong Kong daily is not being cancelled.


Indian carriers operating flights to Southeast Asia have asked pilots and cabin crew to wear N95 masks and take all other precautions. Air India and IndiGo have issued elaborate guidelines to their crew. AI will carry extra masks on its flights and give them to passengers who may wish to use them.


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In a statement, IndiGo said: "After carefully assessing the current coronavirus situation in China, IndiGo is taking some safety measures for its customers, crew and staff. Due to China travel restrictions, we have seen a high number of cancellations from China on our Delhi-Chengdu route and vice-versa. Therefore, we are suspending our flights between Delhi and Chengdu from February 1, 2020 until February 20, 2020. We are also suspending our Bengaluru-Hong Kong flight effective February 1, 2020 ... For now, we will continue to operate our Kolkata–Guangzhou flight, which we are monitoring on a daily basis. And for our operating crew, we are ensuring that they return to India on the inbound flights without any layover in China."

AI has waived cancellation charges for travel to/from Shanghai and Hong Kong "with immediate effect till further notice".

"These are purely temporary and precautionary measures. We understand that these measures will cause inconvenience to our customers and we will be refunding the full amount to the impacted passengers. We are in close touch with the relevant government authorities," the IndiGo statement added.




An AI official said: “On flights to and from our Southeast Asian destinations like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, we have advised our cabin crew to wear masks while in the passenger cabin. Pilots have also been asked to do so while in the passenger cabin and can take them off in the flight deck. On these flights we will carry extra masks to be given to passengers who may wish to use them,” said an AI official.

All aircraft have a universal precautionary kit with basic items like masks and sanitisers. AI is carrying extra medicines like paracetamol.

IndiGo has advised its crew operating flights to Bangkok and Phuket to wear N95 masks at all times during their layover there. An IndiGo communication to crew for Thailand says: “..Wear your N95 masks at all times while on ground. (wear mask before opening of doors and remove them after doors are closed). Do not wear masks on board, while flying. Avoid public places. Avoid eating uncooked/cold cut/raw meat or meat from unverified sources. Wash your hands frequently/Use hand sanitisers to keep your hands clean. Your 'N95' personal protective masks will be handed over to you at dispatch along with your flight documents.”