Delta, American airlines cut all China flights

White House considers ban on China flights amid coronavirus outbreak

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Delta and American on Friday temporarily canceled all of their China flights in response to the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the first domestic carriers to make the move.

As of Friday, the outbreak had infected nearly 10,000 people, most of them in China, and killed more than 200, all in China.

The U.S. State Department late Thursday elevated its China travel advisory to level 4, recommending that Americans do not travel there. That change followed the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global health emergency over coronavirus.

Tuesday White House officials said they were considering a China travel ban but said then they had not contacted the airlines. Still, if United, the other U.S. carrier serving China with nonstop flights, follows its rivals’ lead, the need for White House intervention may be moot. United has already reduced its scheduled China flights.

American cited the State Department’s updated travel advisory Friday in suspending its U.S.-China routes immediately through March 28. The airline said it would contact the affected customers directly to help them make alternate travel arrangements.

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