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Coronavirus has caused a ‘collapse in Chinese travel’


News that Coronavirus has caused a ‘collapse in Chinese travel’ is no shock – the question is how long will tremors be felt and how wide will they be spread?

As news emerged that British citizens in China had been urged to leave the country if they can amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: “The safety and security of British people will always be our top priority. As such, we now advise British Nationals in China to leave the country if they can, to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus. Where there are still British Nationals in Hubei Province who wish to be evacuated, we will continue to work around the clock to facilitate this."


The Hubei province is home to the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak is thought to have originated.

A total of 94 UK nationals and family members have been evacuated to Britain from Wuhan, on two flights which arrived over the course of last weekend (left - AP). Other arrangements are set to be put in to place to evacuate further UK nationals in the area. Three cases have been diagnosed in the UK, while British officials are still trying to trace 239 people who flew from the Chinese city of Wuhan to the UK before travel restrictions began. Efforts to track down and assess the travellers, who left Wuhan after the virus emerged, began last week, and as the crisis intensified, the latest data from aviation intelligence specialist ForwardKeys, which analyses global aviation capacity, flight searches and over 17 million flight booking transactions a day, has revealed that the outbreak of infection in China from the coronavirus has caused a “substantial setback” in flight bookings for the Lunar New Year period after what looked like being a record year for travel.


The Chinese New Year holiday season typically begins a fortnight before its Golden Week; and travel reaches its peak just before that Golden Week starts, spreading travel across almost a month long period. Analysis for the period 10-Jan-2020 to 06-Feb-2020 shows that this year, outbound travel reached “a