Air New Zealand pulls back on services to Shanghai amid coronavirus outbreak

Air New Zealand is temporarily reducing its services to Shanghai amid the coronavirus outbreak as the airline prepares for a decline in travellers taking the route.

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The news comes as the death toll jumped past 170. Source: 1 NEWS

The national carrier typically runs seven services a week between Auckland and the Chinese city, but between February 18 and March 31 the airline will run just four return services.

There is no change to its other schedules, though, including to Hong Kong.

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So far, 170 people have died from the coronavirus, which started in Wuhan. The disease has spread to countries throughout Asia, Europe, the US and Australia. It has not yet been confirmed in New Zealand.

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The declaration was made this morning, with vulnerable countries – potentially unable to cope with a local outbreak - in mind. Source: 1 NEWS

Air New Zealand senior manager for customer care and communications Doug Grant said the airline was closely monitoring the situation and was taking steps to reduce the impact to customers.

"While our Shanghai services are at capacity in the coming weeks, with new group travel restrictions in place we expect demand may ease in the short-term," he said.

"To minimise disruption to those currently booked to travel, the revised schedule will come into effect mid-February. We thank customers in advance for their understanding."

Air New Zealand will directly contact customers affected by the changes in coming week. Customers booked via a travel agent (including online travel agents) will be contacted by their booking agent.

Passengers are also encouraged to keep up to date with the latest information at Travel Alerts. For further help they can contact Air New Zealand's contact centre or directly message the airline through its social media channels.

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No one in NZ fulfils the definition of a suspected case, says director-general of health and chief executive Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Source: Breakfast