Taiwan’s China Airlines cancels February flights to Wuhan amid virus fears

Cabin crew members start wearing masks on flights to and from risk areas

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Staff member at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport wearing a mask. 

Staff member at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport wearing a mask.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China Airlines (CAL) has canceled flights between Taiwan and Wuhan, the city at the center of the current coronavirus outbreak, for the period Feb. 10-27, reports said Wednesday (Jan. 22).

As the virus already officially caused nine deaths in China and more than 400 cases in several countries, including one in Taiwan, calls were rising to restrict travel to and from the affected city.

CAL said it would suspend operations of its flights CI541 and CI542 between Taiwan and Wuhan beginning Feb. 10 and would help travelers affected by the change, CNA reported.

In addition, it would step up the use and distribution of face masks on its flights to and from China, Hong Kong, Macau and the offshore island of Kinmen, where Chinese tourists often arrive to board flights to Taiwan’s main island.

Beginning Wednesday at 5 p.m., all cabin crew would wear masks on the relevant flights and would have sufficient masks ready to hand out to passengers, the airline said. The measure also affected CAL’s affiliated companies, Mandarin Airlines and Tigerair Taiwan.

Passengers boarding in Wuhan would be reminded to wear masks during the flight to Taiwan, the airline said.

StarLux Airlines, which is launching its maiden flight on Thursday (Jan. 23), said earlier it would require its cabin crew to wear masks during the first flight to and from Macau.