American Airlines is canceling flights between United States and China until late April with the coronavirus still scaring away travelers.
Fort Worth-based American had hoped to resume flights between DFW International Airport and Hong Kong next week, but dropped the flights until April 23 “due to a reduction in demand.”
American had already canceled flights between the United States and mainland China destinations of Beijing and Shanghai into late March, as well as flights between Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
Now it is extending the flight cancellations through until April 24. The DFW to Hong Kong flight is set to resume a day earlier.
The number of deaths in China due to coronavirus passed 100 in a day on Monday as the total number of cases worldwide reached over 40,000. There have been 14 confirmed cases in the United States, but no one has died.
DFW International Airport is still one of 11 sites nationwide where passengers might be diverted if they are suspected of having the 2019 novel coronavirus or having traveled to China recently. Some passengers are being quarantined up to 14 days and not allowed to continue travel home if they traveled to the epicenter Hubei province.
World Health Organization officials say they are diverting resources and loosening rules to allow for accelerated research into developing a vaccination against the virus. The 2019 novel coronavirus, which started near Wuhan, China, causes pneumonia-like symptoms and has a higher death rate than the traditional flu.
On Tuesday the World Health Organization also gave a new name to the virus, COVID-19, because coronavirus is a general term for a larger class of viruses. COVI is short for coronavirus and D is for disease, with 19 for the 2019 year it developed.
American Airlines is prompting all passengers at its kiosks with a question about whether they have traveled to China recently and Customs officials are also asking travelers about their travels in an attempt to screen for potential coronavirus cases.
United Airlines and Delta have also canceled flights to mainland China and Hong Kong.
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