- Qantas has announced it will suspend its direct flights to mainland China from February 9 until March 29 2020, as a precaution due to the coronavirus.
- The airline operates two flights into China: Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai.
- Flights between Sydney and Hong Kong are not affected.
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As the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold, Qantas has announced it will suspend flights from Australia to mainland China from February 9 to March 29.
In a statement, the airline confirmed its two direct services to mainland China – Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai – would be affected.
In November, Qantas announced it intended to end the Sydney-Beijing flight in March 2020. The suspension means this flight will end permanently on February 9 instead.
The statement from Qantas blames the entry restrictions imposed by countries including Singapore and the United States for the suspension, due to the "significant logistical challenges" imposed on the movement and rostering of the crew who work on these flights.
"In selecting a date to suspend services Qantas is working to balance high passenger numbers in both directions – including Australian residents wanting to return home from China – with the various travel restrictions being applied," the statement reads.
"The suspension may be brought forward if demand levels or other factors change."
At the time of publication, the Wuhan coronavirus has killed 259 people and infected nearly 11,800.
On Thursday, the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.