Korean Air contends with COVID-19, cuts international flights

South Korea has reported the largest number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases outside of China.

Korean Air has imposed suspensions of varying length on more than 80 international flights and frequency cuts on another 23 as the flag carrier responds to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in South Korea.

In the US market, temporary suspensions were applied to flights from Seoul's Incheon International Airport to Honolulu, New York JFK and San Francisco, with frequency decreases on flights to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth and Washington Dulles.

According to data from CAPA and OAG, Korean Air has 32.6% fewer international seats for the week of March 2 compared to the week of Jan. 27.

South Korea has reported the largest number of COVID-19 cases outside China, with the total infected now above 3,000. Last week, a Korean Air flight attendant was diagnosed with COVID-19, causing the carrier to temporarily shut down its cabin crew briefing room at Seoul Incheon Airport while the facility was disinfected by a team of cleaners (pictured).

An increasing number of governments are imposing restrictions on travelers who have been in South Korea within the past 14 days. These include Hong Kong, India, Israel, the Maldives, Mongolia, Taiwan and Vietnam. Others such as Japan, Singapore and the UK have imposed restrictions on travelers from Daegu or Cheongdo in South Korea, where most infections have been reported.

Photo credit: Incheon International Airport / Facebook

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