Delta, Hawaiian Airlines limiting flights to Korea as coronavirus spreads

Delta, Hawaiian Airlines limiting flights to Korea as coronavirus spreads
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Airline companies such as Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines will reduce and suspend some flights to countries affected by the coronavirus in an attempt to prevent further spread of the deadly infection.

On Wednesday, Delta confirmed that it would terminate all flights between Seoul and Minneapolis after Saturday until April 30. The company will begin diminishing the number of flights between Seoul and Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle to five times a week, according to The Associated Press.

Hawaiian Airlines will suspend flights between Honolulu and Seoul starting next Monday, which will also terminate flights through April 30. The CEO of the company said the decision to cancel the flights is necessary due to the rising number of cases of the coronavirus reported in South Korea.

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As of Thursday, South Korea confirmed 1,766 cases of the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Delta, along with United Airlines and American Airlines has suspended travel to mainland China and Hong Kong until further notice due to travel concerns and a general lack of demand for flights to the area.

Numerous travel companies have been affected and forced to postpone or reschedule voyages that may put passengers in harm's way. One of them is Booking Holdings Inc., the parent of travel search engines and booking sites such as Kayak and Priceline, said the virus had "a significant and negative impact across our business" in the first quarter, according to the report.

The company said in a statement, "It is not possible to predict where, and to what degree, outbreaks of the coronavirus will disrupt travel patterns."

On Wednesday, shares for many of the significant airlines fell. Delta Air Lines Inc. fell 2.6 percent, while United Airlines Holdings Inc. lost 5.7 percent. Hawaiian Airlines parent company Hawaiian Holdings dropped 3.8 percent, and American Airlines Group Inc. sank by 3.5 percent.

Several airlines within Asia and the Middle East have also suspended due to concern over the outbreak, including but not limited to Korean Air, Japan Airlines, and Philippine Airlines.

Johns Hopkins data indicates nearly 82,000 people are infected with the coronavirus globally.