February 27, 2020 / 9:43 AM / a month ago

BA cancels flights to Italy, Korea, Singapore as coronavirus hits demand

FILE PHOTO: British Airways logos are seen on tail fins at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways said it would cancel some flights to and from Italy, Singapore and South Korea, as a result of reduced demand for travel to the areas due to coronavirus outbreaks.

British Airways, owned by IAG (ICAG.L), said on Thursday it would cancel 56 roundtrip flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports to Italian destinations including Milan, Bologna, Venice and Turin between March 14 and March 28.

Flights to Seoul, which are usually daily from Heathrow, will now be every other day, and BA said it was also cancelling six roundtrip flights from Heathrow to Singapore every other day from March 15, although there will still be one flight daily.

In Italy, more than 300 people have tested positive over the past week for coronavirus in Lombardy, while South Korea has the most virus cases outside China and reported 505 new ones on Thursday, taking its national tally to 1,766.

The airline said it would be contacting customers on cancelled flights to discuss their options, which would include rebooking onto other carriers if possible, full refunds or booking for a later travel date.

IAG is expected to update on the impact of coronavirus on its outlook when it reports annual results on Friday.

Reporting by Sarah Young and Michael Holden, Editing by Paul Sandle and Alexander Smith

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