- Virgin Australia is ending its flights between Australia and Hong Kong.
- It comes amid Hong Kong’s protests and the recent coronavirus outbreak.
- Virgin Australia will end its Sydney to Hong Kong service from March 2, 2020.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
Virgin Australia is ending all of its services between Australia and Hong Kong.
The airline announced the withdrawal of it services on Thursday amid Hong Kong’s ongoing civil conflict – which has led to reduced demand for flights – and uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have been going since June 2019, with nearly 7,000 people arrested thus far.
In terms of the coronavirus, Hong Kong has recorded 17 cases and one death.
Virgin’s announcement comes after the airline said it will suspend its Melbourne to Hong Kong flights from February 11, 2020. The airline’s Sydney to Hong Kong service will end from March 2, 2020.
Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer, John MacLeod said in a statement that Hong Kong has “continued to be a challenging market”.
“While the decision to withdraw from the Hong Kong market has been a difficult one, it demonstrates our strong focus on driving greater financial discipline through our network.
“Current circumstances demonstrate that Hong Kong is no longer a commercially viable route for Virgin Australia to continue operating, however international tourism remains an important part of our strategy through our other international routes and partner airlines.”
Virgin added that travellers who have booked flights between Sydney and Hong Kong after March 2 will be contacted by email.
Several airlines have suspended flights to China amid the coronavirus outbreak
Qantas announced it will be suspending its direct flights to mainland China from February 9 until March 29 2020. These include its Sydney to Beijing and Sydney to Shanghai routes. Qantas’s flights to Hong Kong, however, aren’t affected.
Many other airlines have either scaled back the number of services they have to China or suspended flights to the country, including Air Canada, Air France, Air Seoul and Hong Kong Airlines.
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