Japan Airlines reduces service to Taiwan due to outbreak

A Chinese passenger is checked body temperature by staff wearing mask and rubber glove at the Spring Airlines check-in counter to board an airplane bound for Wuhan at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo on January 31, 2020. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) – Japan Airlines (JAL, 日本航空) said Tuesday that it will reduce the number of flights linking Japan with Taiwan and South Korea starting in early March, due to falling demand amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

It will be the first time for a Japanese airline to scale back flight services to and from foreign locations other than China due to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to Japan’s transport ministry.

The cutback will affect flights from Osaka to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, as well as South Korea’s Busan and Gimpo airports, JAL said.

Services between Osaka and Shanghai and between Nagoya and Tianjin will also be reduced.

All Nippon Airways Co. has also temporarily suspended services from Narita to Wuhan — the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak — and Chengdu.

Singapore Airlines further said Tuesday it will cut the number of flights operated by the company and its subsidiary airline as the new coronavirus epidemic dampens demand for air travel.