Updates on Flights, Airlines, Airports and Travel Restrictions
25 March 2020
Singapore bans all short-term visitors from entering the country
From 23 March 2020, all short-term visitors are not allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.
Only Singaporean citizens, Permanent Residents, work pass holders and those providing essential services, such as in healthcare and transport are permitted to enter Singapore. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents returning to Singapore will have to self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days.
Indonesia closes its borders to visitors amid coronavirus outbreak. The list of banned countries grows, the visa exemption policy and visa-on-arrival are suspended, and there are additional requirements for obtaining a visa at the Indonesian embassy. Only Indonesian citizens, permanent residents, and their close family members can enter the country.
Australia’s travel alert is at its highest level 4 – Do Not Travel Overseas, which is an indefinite measure. The country’s borders are closed to all visitors, except for citizens, permanent residents, and their close family members. A human biosecurity emergency has been declared and major restrictions have been introduced on overseas travel and large gatherings in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Travelers to Thailand may be subject to quarantine
Thailand has introduced new policy for travellers arriving from China, Macau, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy or Iran. Passengers from those countries will face either a 14-day self-quarantine at hotel/accommodation (passengers with no symptoms), or a mandatory quarantine at a designated hospital (passengers with symptoms).
Also, visa on arrival has also been canceled for 18 countries: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu. Travellers must apply for visas in advance. This list may be extened to other countries.
Airlines has been instructed not to fly passengers to Thailand from these countries – unless they are in possession of a health certificate to show they don’t have coronavirus.
Today Thailand announced 32 new cases, biggest daily rise to date, bringing the total to 114.
Australia mirrors New Zealand’s measures – from midnight on Sunday anyone entering the country will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Spain the country’s government announces a countrywide lockdown while declaring a two-week state of emergency to fight the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. Spain is Europe’s worst-hit country after Italy.
The United States is extending the travel restrictions imposed on the European nations to Britain and Ireland. The updated travel ban starts 4:00 GMT on Tuesday.
More travel bans and suspended flights around the world
Turkish Airlines suspends flights to 9 countries due to concerns about the coronavirus. The affected countries are: Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands. Flights will stop starting from Saturday at 8am until 17 April. The airline offers cancelation, route and date change free of charge.
Saudi Arabia suspends international flights for two weeks, starting from Sunday March 15th. It has also suspended the pilgrimages to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
Cambodia announces ban on the entry of foreigners from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US for 30 days, starting on Tuesday, March 17.
On Friday at 6pm Netherlands suspends all flights from the most affected countries – China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
To keep coronavirus out China is now suspending all flights from Italy, Iran and South Korea.
The Philippine capital Manila imposes curfew from 8pm to 5am during coronavirus lockdown, which will start on Sunday. There are now 6 deaths and 64 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines.
Everyone entering New Zealand on Sunday and onwards will have to self-isolate for 14 days to contain coronavirus.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, Vietnam Airlines is reducing its flights from Vietnam top Europe. Out of 27 round-trip flights per week between Vietnam and London, Paris and Frankfurt, 14 flights per week will be canceled.
Recently Vietnam government announced that it has canceled the 15-day visa exemption program for the 8 European countries: UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Spain.
Japan Airlines cuts nearly 1,500 flights from march 16 over coronavirus concerns
Japan Airlines will temporarily reduce domestic services between March 16 and March 28 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The main reason behind this decision is the drop in demand due to cancellations and delays of sporting and cultural events amid the coronavirus outbreak.
12 March 2020
All flights from Europe to the US have been suspended for 30 days
President Trump has announced today that the US will end all flights from Europe, excluding the UK, for 30 days. The flight ban goes into effect this Friday at midnight. There will be limited exceptions for Americans who have been properly screened and tested to fly back home.
11 March 2020
AirAsia offers 6 million promo seats to encourage air travel
AirAsia has started its BIG Sale program, offering free flights (under certain conditions) to destinations including Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. All the passengers have to pay are taxes and a passenger service charge of 12 Malaysian Ringgit (2.83 USD/4.3 AUD). Also, prices for other routes has been substantially cut to stimulate air travel during the difficult times of coronavirus outbreak.
The tickets can be purchased online untile March 14. BIG Sale covers all flights with the departure date before July 1.
Lufthansa plans to cancel half its flights, introduces flexible rebooking options
As the fallout from the coronavirus continues to hit the global air travel industry, German airline Lufthansa is planning to slash half of its flights, starting April. The carrier has already announced the cancellation of 7,100 European flights in March, mainly within Germany or on routes to Italy, which represents about 25% of the total number of Lufthansa flights.
In the same time, the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Air Dolomiti) is introducing more flexible rebooking options. The new extensive waiver policy for rebooking applies to both existing and future bookings worldwide.
A number of airlines around the world cancel flights to and from Hong Kong in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Today, the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot suspends its Hong Kong service.
Flights to and from Hong Kong has been already canceled or reduced in frequency by Air Canada (Toronto – Hong Kong), Air New Zealand, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia.
Emirates, Ethiad Airways, Qatar Airways, as well as Chinese carriers (such as Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Xiamen Air, Shanghai Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines) are still flying to Hong Kong.
6 March 2020
What you need to know about travel insurance as coronavirus spreads?
Travel insurance companies report a 60% jump in policies sold since the first travel-related cases of coronavirus were detected. Watch the video to learn more about choosing the right insurance when traveling during the coronavirus outbreak.
Two days left to purchase AirAsia X year's unlimited flights for $120
There is an unique promotion on offer on AirAsia X website. To fill seats, as well as to stimulate travel, the long-haul arm of AirAsia has launched the “AirAsia Unlimited Pass” that offers limitless year-long flights within Asia Pacific for only RM499 (~US$120).
Passengers who purchase the pass can fly as many times as they want – although it does come with various terms and conditions. The pass is only available to Malaysian AirAsia BIG members, and included flights are those from Kuala Lumpur to Australia, India, China, South Korea and Japan from 2 March 2020 to 2 March 2021.
The sale started on 29 February and will end on 7 March (23.59hrs Malaysian time).
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Flybe, which operates almost 40% of UK domestic flights,, has collapsed into administration less than two months after the government announced a rescue deal. Before the viral outbreak, Flybe was already struggling, and the impact of the coronavirus on flight bookings proved the last straw for the airline.
The company asks passengers to not travel to the airport, unless they have arranged an alternative flight with another airline.
Airbnb issues a specific policy for coronavirus-related cancellations
Airbnb’s new Extenuating Circumstances Policy applies to any reservation where the guest or host had to cancel the booking in order to comply with restrictions implemented by government or health authorities.
If the booking is in a location impacted by containment measures, travel warnings or travel restrictions, travelers or Airbnb hosts can change or cancel a booking free of charge. Bookings in mainland China, South Korea and parts of northern Italy currently fall into that category.
Virgin Atlantic waives the flight change fee for bookings made in March
To provide greater flexibility to our customers with upcoming travel plans, the airline have introduced a flexible policy for all bookings made from 04 March – 31 March 2020. The travelers now have the option to change flight date to a later time without a change fee.
Thai AirAsia offers options for Travelers to and from Singapore and Taipei
Thai AirAsia customers with bookings made before 1 March 2020 and travel dates from 1 March 2020 until 30 April 2020 received two options regarding their tickets: one-time flight change (free of charge) to a new travel date within 30 September 2020, or retain the value of the fare in AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia.