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Korean Air to suspend flights to Washington amid virus fallout


Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's national flag carrier, said Wednesday it will suspend flights on the Incheon-Washington route from mid-April due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Korean Air plans to stop serving flights from Incheon to Washington, D.C., starting April 13, with the suspension scheduled to last through the end of this month, a company spokeswoman said over the phone.

The company currently flies from Incheon to US cities such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Honolulu. But the Incheon-Honolulu route will be halted from Saturday, she said. 

The suspensions follow an increase in US states ordering residents to stay at home and incoming travelers to self-quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19.

On other international routes, Korean Air said it will continue to offer flights to Paris, London, Bangkok, Manila, Ho Chi Minh and Tokyo. Flights to Vancouver and Cebu are set to be halted within a week.

Korean Air has suspended more than 90 percent of its flights on international routes as an increasing number of countries close their borders or take further measures against incoming passengers.

Local airlines have been struggling with a sharp decline in air travel demand since Jan. 20, when South Korea reported its first case of the coronavirus.

The country reported a total of 9,786 confirmed coronavirus cases and 163 related deaths as of Tuesday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Yonhap)