Coronavirus: Africa puts China in quarantine

A Royal Air Maroc Boeing (illustration). © Boeing Royal Air Maroc, RwandAir, Kenya Airways … Six out of eight African airlines with flights to China have suspended flights to and from China.

However, Ethiopian Airlines and Air Algérie have opted to continue operating their China routes.

There is now one suspected case of coronavirus in Ethiopia, according to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute.

In a statement issued on 25 January, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicated that it “is closely monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan (China) and is actively engaged with the World Health Organization (WHO) Secretariat, ICAO and the US Centers for Disease Control.”

The coronavirus outbreak that has emerged in China is becoming a broader threat: according to the Chinese authorities, the number of infected individuals has increased to more than 11,700, while over 250 deaths have been reported.

Following this news, on Thursday, 30 January, WHO declared the outbreak “a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”

As preventive measures are being stepped up in several African countries, the continent’s airlines are one-by-one announcing the suspension of their flights to and from China. Royal Air Maroc: flights suspended

The Moroccan national carrier indicated on 30 January that it would temporarily suspend flights to Beijing from 31 January through 29 February 2020 “due to a sharp drop in demand for flights from Casablanca to Beijing and vice versa.”

The airline added that Royal Air Maroc customers with scheduled departures after 31 January will be contacted directly and that “new travel dates will be offered at no additional cost.”

Royal Air Maroc inaugurated its first flight between Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport on 16 January via a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. In partnership with China-based travel company Ctrip, the Moroccan National Tourist Office sought to promote Morocco as a tourist destination, with three scheduled flights a week. RwandAir: flights suspended

Operating a direct route between Kigali-Guangzhou and Guangzhou-Kigali, RwandAir has temporarily halted all flights to and from China as from 31 January until further notice. “This decision was made after WHO officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency.”The recently added Kigali-Guangzhou route, connecting China’s Guangdong Province (South China) and including a stopover in Mumbai, India, made its debut on 18 June 2019. The service offers round-trip flights via an Airbus A330 three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. In a statement released […]

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