Korean Air has formed an emergency response team
to deal with the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and
set up a thorough process designed to preempt any possibility of
infection within departments such as the airport service office,
flight operations, cabin crew operations, maintenance, aeromedical
center and the operations control division.
Korean Air has also suspended its flights between
Incheon and Wuhan up to 27 March, and will suspend or
reduce the frequency of some of its routes to China in
consideration of the falling demand due to the new coronavirus.
From today, the airline has
strengthened the level of cabin disinfection for
planes that have flown on routes to China. The airline sterilizes
planes arriving from large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai,
Qingdao and Guangzhou to Incheon Airport upon arrival. Aircraft
flying to other destinations in China will be disinfected
periodically in order to actively prevent the spread of infection.
Korean Air also announced some changes to in-flight
services to minimize the risk of onboard infection from 31 January
Disposable cutlery will be used to serve in-flight meals on
all China routes, which will then be disposed of in sealed plastic
bags to prevent cross infection.
such as blankets and pillows will not be provided, and in-flight
meals for return flights from Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei and
Shanghai, which are usually supplied locally, will be loaded at
the time of departure from Incheon.
For the safety
of its crew members, Korean Air will temporarily suspend the
crewís layover schedule pattern on Kunming and Guangzhou routes.
Instead, extra crew members will be assigned to cover the inbound
flight, while those working on the outbound flight can rest on the
Korean Air flight attendants are
recommended to wear masks and plastic gloves on all routes, and
the airline is loading each flight with adequate equipment in
preparation for any possible infection onboard: masks for
passengers seated near suspicious patients and hazmat suits for
flight attendants who may need to take care of onboard patients.
Additionally, masks and hand sanitizers are
prepared at airports and sales offices where employees provide
face-to-face services. The airline will also provide sanitary
items such as masks and hand sanitizers to domestic and global
offices, including China, that are facing a huge mask shortage.
In addition, Korean Air will
suspend or reduce the frequency of some of its routes to China
from 2 February. These measures are aimed at preventing the
further spread of the new coronavirus and in response to the
falling demand following the shutdown of major tourist sites in
China and business trip restrictions of Korean companies.
Temporary suspension will be imposed on routes such as
Incheon and Huangshan / Zhangjiajie / Changsha / Kunming; Jeju and
Beijing; and Busan and Beijing / Nanjing.
Routes between Incheon and
Qingdao/Shenyang will see a decrease in frequency from 14 to 7
flights a week, and the Incheon-Beijing route from 17 to 14
flights a week. The frequency of routes between Busan and
Qingdao/Shanghai will also be reduced from 7 to 4 flights a week.
In order to minimize passengersí inconvenience, Korean
Air will provide substitute flights for passengers with a booked
flight on an affected route and waive refund penalties for those
cancelling their tickets. The airline will also waive fees for
passengers changing their tickets.