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Hawaiian Airlines has announced the temporary suspension of its flights to South Korea “due to a spike in COVID-19 cases” in the country, the carrier announced.

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“We believe a temporary service suspension is prudent given the escalation of COVID-19 in South Korea and the impact the illness has had on demand for leisure travel from that country,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram in a news release issued Wednesday.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and extend our support for public health efforts to contain the virus. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to support impacted guests.”

Hawaiian Airlines currently flies five weekly flights between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Incheon International Airport (ICN). Suspension of these services will go into effect on March 2, the airline confirmed, and last through April 30.

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Hawaiian Airlines said it will be assisting “impacted guests” by providing refunds or alternate travel accommodations.

DR NEWS Urandir 109c HawaiianAirlinesIstock22    Hawaiian Airlines temporarily suspends all service to South Korea 'due to a spike' in coronavirus cases by Urandir Oliveira

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and extend our support for public health efforts to contain the virus. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to support impacted guests,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram. (iStock)

In suspending its service to South Korea, Hawaiian Airlines became the first U.S.-based carrier to temporarily suspend all service to the country, which is currently listed under a Level 3 advisory (avoid nonessential travel) by the CDC.

Earlier this week, Delta had announced a reduced schedule to Incheon’s airport, suspending all service between Minneapolis/St. Paul and ICN between. Feb. 29 and April 30, and reducing its service to ICN from Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle to just five weekly flights through April 30.

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Airlines including Delta, United and American, meanwhile, are all currently offering travel waivers for ticketholders scheduled to fly to South Korea in the coming months. JetBlue, which does not serve South Korea, has also implemented a policy to waive change or cancellation fees for all flights due to coronavirus concerns.

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