Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot has canceled half of its flights to and from China as inbound traffic from there has drastically declined due to coronavirus fears, Lenta.ru reported.
The state-run airline, the only Russian carrier operating flights to China, said it will reduce the number of flights from Moscow to Beijing and to Shanghai from two to one per day.
The number of flights they operate to Hong Kong and Guangzhou will drop to four flights per week.
Aeroflot said that the main reason for the ban was the coronavirus’ impact on Chinese tour groups booking trips to Russia, and elsewhere. Many countries have shut its borders to Chinese citizens during the epidemic. China has greatly restricted travel between the two countries.
Aeroflot said the cuts will go into effect starting Tuesday and remain into effect until March 28.
Russia introduced a ban on China travel anyway. That order came down on January 31 due to the increase in the number of coronavirus patients in Russia. They had two at the time. The number has remained steady over the last two weeks, but like every other country, Russia is remaining hyper vigilant as it shares a border with China.
China now has over 70,000 cases of the virus, a number nearly everyone suspects is much lower than actual numbers as it is believed that many people with symptoms have not yet seen a doctor.
Despite the travel ban, Russia allowed for Aeroflot to continue flights to and from China due to previous bookings.