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SriLankan Airlines suspends flights to Jeddah, China amid Coronavirus

RESCUE MISION: A SriLankan volunteer crew flew a rescue flight to Wuhan to take out Sri Lankan citizens trapped in the city.

ECONOMYNEXT – State-run SriLankan Airlines is suspending flights to China from March 10 to April 30, over a Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as passenger volumes nose dive.

In February SriLankan slashed flights to China as Chinese arrivals fell with Beijing cut to twice week from four and Canton cut to three from seven as the epidemic unfolded.

Flights to Jeddah will also be suspended from March 15 to April  20 de to restrctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the airline said.

Flights to Riyadh and Damman would continue.

Visitors from China fell 92.5 percent to 2,096 in February 2020 from 28,039 in 2019. Several Chinese airlines including China Southern operate flights between the two countries.

However arrivals from India, the largest generating market rose 7 percent. India’s GoAir which starts flights to Sri Lanka from this month said they had seen an increase in travel within South Asia as the Coronavirus hit East Asia.

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Both Sri Lanka and the Maldives are popular tourist destination for well-to-do Indians.

Asia Pacific Airlines are struggling as passenger numbers plunge and flights are cancelled altogether.

In the UK, struggling FlyBe is near collapse. (Colombo/Mar06/2020 – Updated with period of suspended flights)

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