Amid rising fears of Wuhan pneumonia, South Korean airlines are suspending or reducing flights to or from China and allowing passengers to cancel their booking without a penalty.
On Tuesday, low-cost carrier Air Seoul said it would stop all routes to or from China including Zhangjiajie and Linyi in response to growing concerns over flights to or from all Chinese cities as well as Wuhan.
Fights to and from Zhangjiajie have been cancelled because of its proximity to Wuhan, being only 300 kilometers away from the city, and the closure of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the famous tourist destination of China.
T'way Air secured the right to fly to and from Wuhan last year, but has postponed the flight due to the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak. Korean Air, which temporarily suspended flights between Incheon and Wuhan from last Thursday, and Asiana Airlines, a South Korean flag carrier with the highest revenue share of routes to and from China, are contemplating suspending or reducing flights to or from other Chinese cities.
Against this backdrop, the number of passengers will likely continue to decrease. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, flag carriers are seeing fewer people travelling to China every week. “The Wuhan pneumonia has resulted in 10 percent of the bookings being cancelled over the Lunar New Year holiday, and the figure is expected to rise to 30 to 40 percent,” an aviation industry expert said.