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Virgin Atlantic suspends flights to Shanghai as coronavirus spreads

Virgin Atlantic suspends flights to Shanghai as coronavirus spreads

Virgin Atlantic has suspended operations to Shanghai as a new coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across China.

British Airways announced a similar move earlier in the week.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “The safety and security of our customers and staff is always our number one priority.

“We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very carefully and following the World Health Organisation declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, Virgin Atlantic has brought forward the suspension of Heathrow-Shanghai operations.”

Flight VS250 to Shanghai will depart today, while and the final in-bound flight will be VS251 on Saturday.

Virgin added in a statement: “We apologise to our customers who were due to travel to China for any inconvenience this will cause.

“A policy is in place for customers who are booked to travel to China and Hong Kong, to reschedule or receive a refund.”


Passengers are advised to contact the Virgin customer care team via an SMS messaging system on +44 (0) 7481 339184.

The suspension is initially expected to last two weeks.

Flights to Hong Kong continue to operate as scheduled, Virgin added.


The coronavirus was earlier declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.

At least 213 people in the China have died from the virus, mostly in Hubei, with almost 10,000 cases nationally.

There have been 98 cases of the virus in 18 countries.

This morning, two cases of were confirmed in the UK for the first time, the chief medical officer for England has announced.