KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Local airlines AirAsia and Malindo Air have suspended flights to and from Malaysia to Wuhan, a Chinese city which is the epicentre of a mysterious pneumonia outbreak, now under quarantine.
AirAsia said all its flights from Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), and Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand to Wuhan are temporarily cancelled until January 28, while Malindo Air did not specify when its suspension of flights from Kuala Lumpur to Wuhan would end.
AirAsia allowed passengers to reroute their Wuhan travel plans to any other mainland China station for flights to Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok, and Phuket without additional cost, subject to seat availability. This is applicable for all flights until February 29.
The low-cost airline also allowed Wuhan travellers a full refund for all flights until February 15 and return flights from February 16 to 29. Another option allowed affected passengers to retain the value of their fare in their AirAsia credit account for future travel.
Malindo Air told passengers with Wuhan flight bookings for travel between January 23 and February 8 to contact their call centre at +603-78415388 or walk-in to their ticketing office for further assistance.
China has placed Wuhan on lockdown after a novel coronavirus killed 17 people to date and infected over 500 people in various provinces, as well as in other countries like Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Macau, and Hong Kong.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Wuhan coronavirus could be caused by a newly emerging member of the family of viruses that caused the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak that infected over 8,000 people and killed almost 800 in 2003 worldwide. Bats and civets are thought to have spawned SARS.