Travel ban to China a 'responsible' decision but logistical nightmare - aviation commentator

Air New Zealand is the latest in a growing list of carriers to halt flights to China amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
Air New Zealand is the latest in a growing list of carriers to halt flights to China amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Photo credit: Getty.

An aviation commentator says a total travel ban to China would be a logistical nightmare as coronavirus strikes globally.

Air New Zealand has suspended flights to China along with other airlines across the globe, with flights to Shanghai to be suspended until the end of March.

It's the latest in a growing list of carriers to halt flights to China amidst the coronavirus outbreak. 

Aviation commentator Peter Clark says New Zealand already has experience with air travel and viruses, adding it's an extension of NZ's response to the measles outbreak in the Pacific.

"We've already had this quite serious situation in the Pacific, notifying people of the disease that were travelling on aircraft," Clark told Newshub.

Clark, however, said a total travel ban would cause staffing complications but added suspending trips between Auckland and Shanghai was a responsible approach.

"Crews - they layover in these countries then stop flying to other countries in several weeks. This creates [a] major rostering problem.

"We'll probably find some of these airlines will be forced to stop flying to New Zealand as possibly they're being happening already into Korea and Japan and other parts of the world."

The death toll of China's coronavirus has surpassed 250 and The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency.

Australia has also joined the ranks of the US and Israel, denying entry to non-citizens travelling from China.

In Vietnam, Italy and Qatar Airways have stopped all air travel to China. 

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