Coronavirus: SAS suspends flights to northern Italy

Coronavirus: SAS suspends flights to northern Italy
SAS joins several other airlines that have cancelled or reduced flights to northern Italy. Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB Scanpix / TT
Scandinavian airline SAS has chosen to suspend all flights to northern Italy following updated travel advice from Denmark and Norway due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Covid-19.

All SAS flights to and from Milan, Bologna, Turin and Venice will be suspended from March 4th until March 16th, the airline said on Tuesday. It said it would be in contact with affected passengers.

It came after Denmark's Foreign Ministry and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health on March 2nd updated their travel recommendations to advise against all unnecessary travel to the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto.

At the time of the change to SAS policy, Sweden's Foreign Ministry had not introduced travel restrictions relating to northern Italy.

Italy has the third highest number of cases of the virus outside China; more than 2,000, which have led to 52 deaths and 149 full recoveries. But the latest figures on Tuesday showed that the rise in cases was occurring at a slower rate than previously, a development described as “reassuring” by health officials.

SAS previously cancelled all flights to mainland China, where the outbreak of the coronavirus began, and later extended that policy until March 29th, as well as suspending flights to Hong Kong from March 5th.

Several other airlines worldwide have suspended or reduced flights to northern Italy, where the bulk of the country's coronavirus cases have been confirmed.

As of March 3rd, Delta and American Airlines had suspended flights to Milan, Turkish Airlines had cut all flights to Italy, while Brussels Airlines, RyanAir, Easyjet, Wizz Air, and British Airways had all reduced flights.

What you need to know about the coronavirus in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Italy


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