March 16, 2020 / 2:22 PM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-China's airlines to cut international flights due to coronavirus - Global Times

(Updates to add background, flight cancellation data)

March 16 (Reuters) - Chinese airlines including Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are planning to reduce international flights in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Global Times reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources.

The aviation industry in China, where the virus emerged, has been one of the worst-affected by the crisis, following travel curbs by nations fearing contagion and shrivelling demand.

The Chinese government last month criticised some of those curbs, especially those imposed by the United States, saying some countries had over-reacted.

However, the country has tightened checks on international travellers in recent days as the number of imported cases begins to exceed locally transmitted ones.

The capital Beijing is ordering 14 days in its quarantine facilities for anyone arriving from aboard, starting Monday.

Data from Cirium showed the number of flights to, from and within China cancelled or removed from schedules totalled 506,662 from Jan. 1 through March 10. Of those, 101,906 were international flights, it said.

Chinese airlines reported a total loss of 20.96 billion yuan ($2.99 billion) in February, Civil Aviation Administration of China said last week.

$1 = 7.0176 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Mark Potter

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