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American Airlines cancels some China service for more than a month as coronavirus spreads

American Airlines on Wednesday joined rival United in suspending some of its service to China as the coronavirus spreads and demand for those routes drop sharply.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is canceling its flights from Los Angeles to Shanghai and to Beijing from Feb. 9 through March 27. American will continue to operate its China service from Dallas-Fort Worth and from Los Angeles to Hong Kong in that period.

American’s reservations agents “will contact affected customers directly by email or telephone,” the airline said. “We will continue to review our flight schedules to ensure we can accommodate the needs of our customers and will make updates as needed.”

American’s Pacific-region revenue had been falling before the outbreak of coronavirus and the area is a small part of the airline’s sales overall. The company last week reported Pacific-region revenues dropped 9% last year to $1.5 billion, which equaled less than 4% of total passenger revenue.  

Airlines, including American and United, have said they’ve seen a sharp drop in demand for China routes and are scrambling to adjust their schedules as the number of infections grows. Cathay Pacific and Air Canada have also said they would reduce service to mainland China due to the virus. British Airways earlier Wednesday said it canceled its service to Shanghai and Beijing from London.

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