Qantas will suspend its two direct services to mainland China (Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai) from 9 February in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the airline says the decision follows entry restrictions imposed by countries including Singapore and the United States, which impact the movement of crew who work across the Qantas International network. These entry restrictions pose significant logistical challenges for rostering crew to operate mainland China services, leading to the need to suspend these flights.

Sydney-Beijing was due to end permanently on 23 February anyway, so this date has essentially been brought forward.

Sydney-Shanghai is currently planned to resume on 29 March 2020, but this could be adjusted if circumstances change.

There is no change to Qantas services to Hong Kong.

In selecting a date to suspend services Qantas says it’s working to balance high passenger numbers in both directions – including Australian residents wanting to return home from China – with the various travel restrictions being applied. However, the airline has left the option to bring the suspension forward even further if required.

Customers with bookings between 9 February and 29 March will be contacted by Qantas to discuss options. There is no change to Qantas codeshare arrangements on China Eastern and China Southern flights.

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