Coronavirus scare: Staring at huge losses, airlines waive off cancellation

Hyderabad: Domestic airlines have decided to waive off cancellation and rescheduling fees on all flight tickets following the spate of travel advisories and visa cancellations in the wake of coronavirus scare.

“We are giving passengers the option to reschedule the travel date. Hong Kong flights have been suspended till March 28. We have given a full refund to passengers who cancelled their tickets. We are not charging anything for the passengers who want to reschedule their tickets”, a Spicejet official told NewsMeter.

On February 27, Saudi Arabia suspended Umrah pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Madina. Around 200 pilgrims returned home from Hyderabad airport after their visas were suspended.

“Umrah pilgrims cannot travel till March 31 because their visas stand suspended. We are giving them a full refund on cancellation of tickets,” the official said.

Not only Spicejet, but other airlines are also giving a full refund to Umrah pilgrims.

International airlines have also sharply reduced the number of flights to coronavirus infected countries.

“Given the novel coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent drop in passenger traffic, we have reduced around 90% of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights to Mainland China. There will also be significant short-term reductions approximately 40% of our capacity – across our network over the next two months,” Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airliner told NewsMeter

In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, Universal Thermal Screening at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has been extended to passengers coming from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran, and Italy besides China and Hong Kong.

On Thursday, 18667 travellers were screened for the virus at Hyderabad airport.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter. A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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