January 29, 2020 / 3:14 PM / 4 months ago

American Airlines joins others in suspending some China flights as demand sags

FILE PHOTO: Corporate logos of American Airlines are seen at their office in Caracas, Venezuela March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American Airlines Group Inc, the largest U.S. carrier, said on Wednesday it would suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai, as demand has sagged amid a coronavirus outbreak in China that has prompted other airlines to also cancel flights.

The United States and Japan evacuated their nationals from a quarantined Chinese city on Wednesday and British Airways suspended flights to China, where deaths from the virus have leapt to 133 and an impact to the economy predicted.

American said its flight suspension would run from Feb. 9 through Mar. 27. The carrier, which normally operates four U.S. flights a day to China, will continue flying to Beijing and Shanghai from Dallas, Texas.

China’s economic growth had helped power a global aviation boom over the last decade, but as the country curtails travel with the spread of the flu-like virus, a slowdown could hit the industry harder than ever before.

United Airlines Holdings Inc, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd and Finnair Plc were among other carriers that are cancelling flights.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum

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