XiamenAir cancels Jinjiang-Davao flights for February due to 2019-nCoV

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 2 february) — Xiamen Airlines (XiamenAir), which serves the direct flight between the cities of Jinjiang in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian and Davao City in Mindanao, has cancelled all flights for February due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) health emergency, China’s top diplomat in Mindanao confirmed.

In this photo taken on Nov. 8, 2019, Chinese nationals process their travel documents using automated kiosks at the Fuzhou Municipal Public Service Center in Fujian province. XiamenAir cancels flights starting Feb 2, 2020 between Jinjiang in Fujian and Davao City due to the 2019-nCoV health crisis that originated in China. MindaNews file photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Consul General Li Lin of the Davao Consulate General’s Office said Saturday afternoon that XiamenAir issued a travel advisory canceling the air route starting Sunday, February 2, until further notice.

On Friday afternoon, Li said in a statement that “friendly consultations” were held by the consulate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s office and XiamenAir representatives following the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Considering the current pneumonia epidemic caused by the new coronavirus, and to ensure public health and safety, the parties have decided through friendly consultations that the Jinjiang-Davao-Jinjiang flights on February 2 and 5 would still be served, Li said in the Friday statement.

The subsequent flights will be suspended until the epidemic situation improves and when the parties have come to consensus to resume the said flights, he added.

But at 4:34 pm Saturday, Li issued another statement informing that XiamenAir decided to cancel all the Jinjiang-Davao-Jinjiang flight for the entire February.

XiamenAir serves the air route twice a week starting late 2018, following the signing of the sisterhood agreement between Davao and Jinjiang to boost bilateral, tourism and trade ties.

Li earlier told MindaNews that the Chinese government requested travel agencies to stop organizing group tours to Davao starting January 27 until further notice in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus in Mindanao.

The coronavirus death toll in China, which originated in Wuhan in the central Chinese province of Hubei, has surpassed 300 and over 14,000 infections in the different parts of the globe as of Sunday morning.

The Philippines confirmed its second case of the new virus Sunday morning, involving a 44-year-old man from Wuhan who died Saturday, the first known  fatality outside China. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)