SEPANG – Amid the coronavirus scare, AirAsia has on Monday announced the extension of suspended flights from Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok and Phuket to Wuhan, China until the 15th of February 2020.
Since December, health authorities in China have been grappling with an outbreak of viral pneumonia that has sickened more than 2,700 people and killed 80 as of Sunday.
The disease is thought to be caused by a previously unknown type of coronavirus that may have first spread to humans from animals at a now-shuttered seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where most of the cases have been diagnosed.
Further cases have been confirmed in the U.S., Canada, France, Australia, and multiple Asian countries — Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Nepal.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause a variety of ailments, among them the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Most known coronaviruses cause relatively mild cold-like symptoms, but their ability to jump between humans and animals makes them hard to contain.
Chinese health officials have confirmed that the new virus can spread between people, but do not believe it to be as serious as SARS or MERS.
Additional cities were under lockdown and the virus had spread to many of China’s provincial-level regions.
AirAsia is making provisions for guests with flight bookings to/from all destinations in mainland China to obtain credit account or full refund.
Certain destinations within AirAsia’s flight network have imposed travel bans for guests based on nationalities, cities of origin, travel history or the purpose of travel. Guests are recommended to check with respective governments or embassy offices prior to travel.
The following options are available to AirAsia guests who were affected by the flight changes and travel bans:
1. Credit account: Retain the value of your fare in your AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia. The online credit account is to be redeemed for booking within 90 calendar days from the issuance date for your travel with us. The actual travel dates can be after the expiry date as long as our flight schedule is out. Applicable for all flights to/from mainland China until 15 February 2020 (or 29 February 2020 for flights to/from Wuhan only) that was ticketed prior to 24 January 2020; or
2. Full refund: Obtain a full refund to your original payment method for the amount equivalent to your booking. Applicable for all flights to/from mainland China until 15 February 2020 and return flights from 16 – 29 February 2020 that was ticketed prior to 24 January 2020.
Guests whose flights fall into the above date range can obtain a full refund in the amount equivalent to that booking in the form of original payment. Refund requests can be made with AVA at support.airasia.com. From the main menu categories available, click on “Refund” then “New Refund Request” and finally “AirAsia flights to/from Wuhan” for flights to/from Wuhan OR “China Voluntary Refund” for flights to/from other mainland China destinations. From there, simply follow the instructions as directed by AVA.
For bookings made through travel agents including online travel agents, refund requests are to be made via the respective travel agents.
AirAsia assures that the safety and wellbeing of our guests and Allstars is our top priority. AirAsia is complying with advice and regulations from the local government, CAAC, global and local health authorities, including the World Health Organization.
AirAsia guests who are in Wuhan are advised to abide by announcements made by the Government and health authorities, and to contact their respective diplomatic missions or embassies in mainland China for assistance.
AirAsia is closely monitoring this situation and reserves the right to announce further policies according to the latest developments.
Follow AirAsia on Twitter (@AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia) for the latest updates, or contact our customer support team at support.airasia.com.
Guests are also encouraged to check their flight status at airasia.com/flight status for live updates. (IA/Contributed article/CPH)