India's Biggest Airlines Suspend Operation to China Amid Coronavirus
14:51 GMT 29.01.2020
New Delhi (Sputnik): Soon after reports of deaths in China from the Novel Coronavirus emerged, the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry called for immediate implementation of an action plan which includes the screening of passengers arriving from China and Hong Kong at major airports across the country.
Hours after India's biggest airline IndiGo announced the suspension of its services to China, the country's national carrier Air India on Wednesday, also announced the suspension of service to the Coronavirus-hit country for the next 15 days.
Air India will not be operating flights to China from 31 January to 14 February and IndiGo flights will also remain suspended from February 1 to February 20.
Air India said it would waive cancellation charges for travel to/from Shanghai and Hong Kong with immediate effect until further notice.
In a statement, the private carrier IndiGo said it is temporarily suspending flights to China's city of Chengdu from Delhi as well as the Bengaluru-Hong Kong flight.
"After carefully assessing the current coronavirus situation in China, IndiGo is taking some safety measures for its customers, crew and the staff. Due to China travel restrictions, we have seen a high number of cancellations from China on our Delhi-Chengdu route and vice-versa," the statement read.
In the wake of an outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus in Wuhan, India's Health Ministry has also issued a travel advisory requiring the screening of international travellers from China and those who have visited the country. It has also asked designated airports to monitor passengers.
The Indian government has organised all logistics support and made arrangements to screen air passengers in cities including Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
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