Health personnel monitors body temperature of pass
Workers check the body temperatures of passengers arriving at Krakow Airport in Balice, Poland, on a flight from Milan, Italy, on 26 February. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto)
  • As the novel coronavirus behind Covid-19 spreads globally, airlines are canceling routes beyond Chinese territory both as a precaution and to stop the spread of the virus.
  • Iran and South Korea are among the top countries where airlines are canceling service due to increased reports of the virus.
  • The cancellations and reductions in service can be felt as far as Europe and North America.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Airlines and countries are continuing to restrict travel following the spread of the novel coronavirus outside the borders of Chinese territory.

With increased cases of coronavirus being reported in countries near and far from China including South Korea, Italy, and Iran, numerous routes around the world are being cut to prevent the further spread of the disease.

See also: Not all masks are equal when it comes to stopping coronavirus. Here’s what SA experts say

The reductions in service are caused by a mix of low demand and government mandates restricting travel to certain regions. Middle Eastern and Asian countries are among those being the most proactive in attempting to stem the spread of the virus as it finds its way across their regions.

While most services are being cut on routes within those regions, the effects of the virus on air travel can be felt as far as North America.

See also: Here’s how your office should be preparing for coronavirus worst-case according to the WHO

Here's a list of airlines that have cut back services due to the spread of coronavirus.

Air Busan

Air Busan is cutting service to numerous cities across Asia and Oceania, according to the airline's website, as coronavirus continues to afflict South Korea. Among those destinations affected are Taipei; Da Nang, Vietnam; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hanoi, Vietnam; Laos, Vietnam; Cebu, Philippines; Boracay, Philippines; Siem Reap, Cambodia; Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; Vladivostock, Russia; Guam; and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The airline has also cut services to Daegu, South Korea, where the coronavirus is rapidly spreading.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is canceling flights between its base in Auckland and Seoul, South Korea from March 8 to June 30 as coronavirus spreads in the Asian country, the airline announced.

The route is the Kiwi flag carrier's sole route between New Zealand and South Korea, with Korean Air left as the only operator on the route during Air New Zealand's suspension.

Air Seoul

Air Seoul is cutting flights to seven destinations outside of China, the airline announced, with cancellations to Guam, Da Nang, Vietnam; Hanoi, Vietnam; Nha Trang, Vietnam; Boracay, Philippines; Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; and Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Korean budget airline was among many to cut service between Korea and Vietnam as health authorities attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, The Star reported.

Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines is reducing flights between South Korea and Thailand as well as South Korea and Vietnam, the Bangkok Post and The Star reported, as well as suspending a route between Jeju and Daegu.

The city of Daegu has the highest reported cases of coronavirus in South Korea, Reuters reported, prompting Korea's two largest airlines to stop service entirely to the city.

Air Arabia

Air Arabia's route between Bahrain and Sharjah was affected by a temporary 48-hour ban of flights between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain initiated the temporary restriction that affected flights to Dubai and Sharjah, Bahrain's state news agency announced reported, on February 24.

The airline was also affected by a UAE government ban on service to Iran, forcing it to cancel flights to Tehran, the airline announced on its website.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines has suspended service on its Minneapolis-Seoul route, the airline said in a news release, as South Korea struggles to contain the virus. The route is operated daily by Delta's newest aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 XWB, with Delta having strong ties with South Korean flag carrier Korean Air and numerous routes to Seoul.

The airline serves Seoul primarily from its Asian gateways including Atlanta, Detroit, and Seattle, which will see reduced service, with plans to start service between the South Korean capital and Manila at the end of March.

Bamboo Airways

Bamboo Airways is suspending flights between Vietnam and South Korea, the airline announced, in response to the spread of coronavirus on the Korean peninsula.

The Vietnamese carrier operates two routes between Vietnam and South Korea between Da Nang, Vietnam and Seoul and Nha Trang, Vietnam and Seoul.

Jin Air

South Korea's Jin Air is cutting services from Busan and Seoul to cities in Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Guam, Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan, according to Routes Online.

The reductions and cancellations are planned until the end of March.

Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines is cutting services between Seoul and Hanoi, Vietnam The Star reported, joining a list of airlines reducing or suspending services between Vietnam and South Korea.

The Vietnamese flag carrier has only cut services on the Seoul-Hanoi route, with its others between the two countries remaining intact.

Korean Air

Korean Air has suspended all flights to Daegu, South Korea Reuters reported, which it serves from Jeju, South Korea, and Seoul, because of the severity of coronavirus cases in the city. The Korean flag carrier has selectively cut services to cities outside of China including Taipei, Taiwan, and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the airline listed on its website.

The airline has also canceled services to Tel Aviv, Israel according to FlightAware data, following an incident where Israel refused to allow South Koreans into the country.

T'Way Air

T'Way Air canceling and reducing flights to numerous cities across Asia and Oceania, according to the airline's website. Among those countries affected are Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, Japan, Saipan, and Guam.

The reductions in service are in effect until the end of March.

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines has canceled flights to Taiwan following a government ban, the airline reported on its website. The cancellations will extend until the end of March.

Singapore Airlines and SilkAir

Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary SilkAir will be cutting services across their networks, including destinations as far away as the US, the airline announced on its website.

Among those countries affected are the US, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the UK, South Korea, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Nepal, the Maldives, Japan, India, Bangladesh, and France.

Iraqi Airways

Iraqi Airways is suspending flights to neighbouring Iran, Reuters reported, as coronavirus cases grow in the Middle East. The coronavirus spread to Iran and high-ranking government officials were infected with the disease.

The airline will also have to cease service to Bahrain as the government of the island nation has banned flights from Lebanon and Iraq, Arabian Business has reported.

Jazeera Airways

Jazeera Airways is suspending its flights to Iraq and Iran following a government mandate that blocked flights between Kuwait and numerous countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, the New York Times reported.

The Kuwaiti airline operates flights to Najaf, Iraq, and Mashhad, Iran from its main base in Kuwait City.

Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airlines is canceling flights to Italy, Thailand, Iran, and Iraq following a government ban on flights to Kuwait from those countries, the New York Times reported.

The Kuwait flag carrier currently serves Rome; Milan, Italy; Bangkok, Thailand; Tehran, Iran; and Mashhad, Iran with upcoming plans to serve Shiraz.

Thai Airways

Thai International Airways is cutting services between Thailand and South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates, the airline reported on its website, until the end of March.

The cities affected include Seoul, Busan, South Korea, Dubai, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Manila, Philippines, Nagoya, Japan, Fukuoka, Japan, and Singapore.

Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines is cutting flights between Tokyo and South Korea affected the Tokyo-Seoul and Tokyo-Busan routes, the airline's website listed.

Also affected is the airline's Kansai-Taipei route until mid-March.

Oman Air

Oman Air joined its Middle Eastern colleagues in suspending service to Iran following a directive from Oman's aviation regulator, its website stated. The airline currently operates a single route to Iran between Muscat, Oman, and Tehran.

Turkish Airlines and AndalouJet

Turkish Airlines is suspending service to all Iranian cities except for Tehran, the airline reported on its website.

The suspension will remain in effect until March 10. Subsidiary carrier AndalouJet will be forced to cancel all flights to the country as well due to a government ban on commercial flights between Turkey and Iran, the Andalou Agency reported.


Emirates has been forced to cancel flights on two routes, Dubai-Tehran and Dubai-Bahrain, because of government restrictions in the UAE and Bahrain, according to its website.

While the cancellations on the Bahrain route are only in effect until February 29, the Tehran cancellations are until further notice.


FlyDubai was forced to cancel flights between Dubai and cities in Iran due to a government mandate, according to its website.

The low-cost airline also canceled flights between Dubai and Bahrain for a 48-hour period starting February 24 due to restrictions from the Bahrain government on flights to the United Arab Emirates, the airline stated on its website.

Gulf Air

Gulf Air was among those affected by the Bahrain government's 48-hour restriction on flights between Dubai and Bahrain, the airline said on its website, forcing the flag carrier to cancel flights during the period.

The airline operates numerous flights a day on the 263-nautical mile route competing with FlyDubai, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific.

Gulf Air will also have to cease service to Lebanon and Iraq as Bahrain government is banning flights to the two Middle Eastern countries, Arabian Business has reported.

Cathay Pacific

Already affected by a lack of demand for travel to Hong Kong amid coronavirus fears and anti-China protests, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific was affected by a 48-hour ban on flights between Dubai and Bahrain, with the airline's website reporting its service canceled during the time period.

Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian Airlines is suspending flights between Amman and Rome, the airline announced, as coronavirus spreads across northern Italy.

The Jordanian flag carrier operates the route along with Alitalia, which operates flights seasonally, and will be suspending flights indefinitely, leaving no airline scheduled to fly between the two capitals until Alitalia resumes service in May.

MIAT Mongolian Airlines

MIAT Mongolian Airlines is forced to cancel flights to South Korea following a government ban on flights from the country, Reuters reported. The Mongolian flag carrier currently serves Seoul from its base in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.

Fly Baghdad

Fly Baghdad will be forced to cancel its flights between Iraq and Bahrain due to a Bahrain government ban on flights from Iraq and Lebanon, Arabian Business reported.

The airline currently connects Bahrain with Najaf, Iraq.

El Al Israel Airlines

El Al Israel Airlines canceled a flight to Milan, the Times of Israel reported, on Thursday morning as coronavirus continues to impact Northern Italy.

Israel has been proactive in attempting to prevent the spread of the virus to its borders, going as far as to deny entry to South Korean visitors, but is seeing a rise in cases pop up from travellers who have visited hot spots for coronavirus such as Italy, the National Post reported.

The Times of Israel reported that El Al may be on the brink of collapse due to reduced travel demand and warnings from the government regarding non-essential travel outside of the Middle Eastern country. As the flag carrier of the Jewish state, El Al's primary function is to facilitate travel to and from the country, with less emphasis on connecting traffic.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is suspending its service between Honolulu and Seoul, the airline said in a press release, citing the rise in coronavirus cases in South Korea. The unofficial flag carrier of the archipelagic US state will suspend the flights from early March until the end of April.

Hawaii is a popular tourist destination for Asian vacationers and its home airline serves multiple countries on the continent from its Honolulu hub using its Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Hawaiian Airlines is the second airline to cancel service to Asia outside of Chinese territory due to the virus behind Delta Air Lines which suspended Minneapolis-Seoul service and reduced flights to Seoul from its other Asian gateways.

British Airways

British Airways is reducing frequencies on its routes to South Korea, Italy, and Singapore, Reuters reported, citing low demand. All countries have been reduced demand due to reported cases of coronavirus.

Pegasus Airlines

Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines will be forced to cancel flights to Iran after Turkey banned travel between the two countries, according to Andalou Agency reported. The airline currently serves the Iranian capital of Tehran from neighbouring Turkey.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is suspending service to Iranian cities and reducing its capacity on flights to South Korea, only accepting passengers with onward connections beyond Doha, according to an airline press release. Situated across the Persian Gulf from Iran, Qatar Airways serves numerous destinations in the country including Tehran, Shiraz, and Mashhad.

Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan's flag carrier has suspended flights to China and Japan, according to the Pakistan Observer, with services to Tokyo and Beijing affected. The suspensions will last until March 15.

Iran Air

Iran Air, along with other Iranian airlines, will be forced to cancel international flights on select routes to countries that have closed its borders to the country, as Al Arabiya reported.

Iran has reported numerous cases of the virus, making it one of the largest hot spots for coronavirus outside of China.

Iran Aseman Air

Iran Aseman Air will be suspending international routes to destinations in countries that have banned connections to Iran, as Al Arabiya reported.

Mahan Air

Mahan Air will be forced to suspend international flights to certain countries that are barring flights to Iran, as Al Arabiya reported, due to an outbreak in the country that has affected even its top leaders.

The carrier, one of Iran's largest, has not stopped flights to mainland China, however, with FlightRadar24 data showing the airline operating flights between Shanghai and Tehran.

Qeshm Air

Qeshm Air joins its fellow Iranian carriers in being banned from operating international flights to select destinations, as Al Arabiya reported, forcing it to cancel flights on those routes.


Oman's SalamAir will be suspending flights to Iran following a government directive restricting flights between the two countries, the airline announced on its website. One of Oman's largest carriers, SalamAir serves Shiraz, Meshad, and Tehran in Iran.

Bulgaria Air

Bulgaria Air will be suspending service between Sofia and Milan until the end of March, Reuters reported, as coronavirus spreads across Northern Italy. With the Bulgarian flag carrier pulling out from the route temporarily, there will be no air link between Milan and Sofia until service is resumed.

Kish Air

Iran's Kish Air will be suspending certain international routes to countries that have banned flights from Iran, as Al Arabiya reported. The airline serves regional destinations throughout the Middle East.

Caspian Airlines

Capsian Airlines will have to suspend select international routes to countries where flights from Iran have been banned to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as Al Arabiya reported.

Taban Air

Iran's Taban Air will be forced to suspend routes to countries that have restricted access from the Middle Eastern country citing a rise in reported coronavirus cases, as as Al Arabiya reported.

ATA Airlines

ATA Airlines will join its Iranian colleagues in cutting routes on select international routes to countries that have restricted flights from the country, as Al Arabiya reported that multiple countries have closed borders with Iran.

Iran Air Tours

Iran Air Tour will be forced to cancel its international flights to Turkey, its only destination outside of Iran, as the country has severed air links with Iran as coronavirus cases grow, the Andalou Agency reported.

The Iranian airline serves three destinations in Turkey from cities across Iran, according to its route map.

Zagros Airlines

Iran's Zagros Airlines will be forced to suspend international routes to countries that have barred flights from Iran citing coronavirus concerns, as Al Arabiya reported.

The airline primarily serves destinations in the Middle East and Central Asia, according to its website.

United Airlines

United Airlines became the third US carrier to suspend routes outside of Chinese territory on Friday when it announced that numerous routes to Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan would be suspended or see reduced service, the company told Business Insider.

The airline is suspending service from Los Angeles and Houston to Tokyo's Narita Airport from March 8 until April 24 and Chicago and Tokyo's Narita Airport from March 8 until March 27. Service to Tokyo's Haneda Airport, which is expected to see new service from scores of foreign airlines at the end of March, is unaffected.

Other routes to Asia will see reduced service or aircraft downgrades until the end of August including Newark-Tokyo, Honolulu-Tokyo, San Francisco-Kansai, San Francisco-Singapore, San Francisco-Seoul, and San Francisco-Taipei.

Aeroflot Russian Airlines

Aeroflot Russian Airlines is suspending some routes to South Korea from cities in Eastern Russia, according to Routes Outline, until the end of March due to government restrictions.

The Russian cities of Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk will be affected by suspended routes to the South Korean cities of Seoul and Busan.

S7 Airlines

Russia's S7 Airline is suspending service from Russia to Seoul until the end of March, according to the airline's website, due to Russian government restrictions on service to South Korea, joining colleagues Aeroflot and Yakutia.

Routes from Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, and Vladivostok to the South Korean capital are affected.


Russian airlines Yakutia is suspending service to Seoul from its hub in Yakutsk, according to Routes Online, due to Russian government restrictions on flights to South Korea.

The airline is one of three Russian airlines suspending service from eastern Russian cities to the South Korean capital as coronavirus spreads across the Korean Peninsula.

China Airlines

Taiwan's China Airlines is suspending service on routes between Taiwan and South Korea, according to Routes Online, until the end of March.

Routes between Taipei and Busan; Taipei and Seoul; and Kaohsiung and Seoul are affected.

Tigerair Taiwan

Tigerair Taiwan is suspending numerous routes between Taipei and South Korea, according to the airline's website, as coronavirus spreads across the Korean Peninsula.

Routes between Taipei and Busan, Jeju, Daegu, and Seoul are affected until the end of March and early April.

CSA Czech Airlines

Czech Airlines is suspending its Prague-Seoul route, according to Routes Online, as more coronavirus cases are reported in South Korea.

The suspension will last indefinitely, with Korean Air to take over as the sole carrier on the route.

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines is reducing frequency on its route from Addis Ababa to Seoul with onward service to Tokyo, according to Routes Online, until mid-March.

The African carrier currently flies between the three cities five times weekly and is reducing service to four times weekly on March 2.

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia is reducing service on its route between Jakarta and Seoul, according to Routes Online, until mid-March.

The Indonesian flag carrier is scaling back service to five times weekly down from daily service.

Jetstar Airways

Jetstar Airways is suspended service between Gold Coast, Australia, and Seoul, according to the airline's website, until the end of June. The low-cost carrier's suspension on the route starts on March 8.

The airline's Japan division is also suspending service on its Tokyo-Taipei route until the end of March, the airline's website stated.

LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines is reducing service on its Budapest-Seoul route, according to Routes Online, until the end of March as coronavirus continues to spread across the Korean Peninsula.

The Polish flag carrier, which is growing service out of underserved Budapest in nearby Hungary, is scaling back service to twice weekly from three times weekly.

Lao Airlines

Lao Airlines is suspending service on its route between Vientiane, Laos, and Seoul for the month of March, according to Routes Online.

The Laotian national airline connects the two capitals cities with daily service.

EVA Air and UNI Air

Taiwan's EVA Air and subsidiary UNI Air are suspending and reducing service on numerous routes from Taiwan to Japan and South Korea, according to Routes Online.

In Japan, the cities of Tokyo, Aomori, Hakodate, Komatsu, Matsuyama, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Sendai are seeing suspended or reduced service while Seoul is seeing suspended and reduced service from Kaohsiung and Taipei in Taiwan.

Peach Aviation

Japan's Peach Aviation is suspending numerous routes from cities across Japan to destinations in Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand, the airline announced on its website.

Most of the suspensions are in effect until the end of March and affect Seoul, Bangkok, and Taipei.


British low-cost carrier EasyJet is reducing its frequencies to Italy from mid to late March, the airline confirmed to Business Insider in an email statement.

"We can confirm that we have taken the decision to cancel a number of flights mainly to and from Italy following a slowing in demand as a result of concerns over COVID-19," EasyJet spokesperson Katie Kershaw said in an email.

Italy has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in its northern regions, causing British Airways to reduce frequencies to Milan.

Thai AirAsia

Thai AirAsia joined its Thai colleagues in reducing service between its home country and South Korea, according to Retail News Asia.

Thailand has been very proactive in attempting to prevent the spread of coronavirus to its border and multiple Thai airlines have canceled flights to coronavirus hotspots.


Australian flag carrier Qantas has been cutting frequencies on routes to Asia as demand slows due to the spread of coronavirus, the airline stated in a news release. Among those countries affected are Singapore, Japan, and Thailand.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: