“The safety of our passengers and employees is our highest priority. After evaluating the situation in China regarding the coronavirus, SAS has decided to suspend all flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing,” said the airline in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
The cancellations affect flights from Copenhagen – the main international airport used by people based in Denmark and southern Sweden – between January 31st and February 9th.
SAS said it was also closing sales for flights to Shanghai and Beijing until February 29th.
Flights to and from Hong Kong are not affected by the cancellations.
Passengers who were due to travel to, from or via Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong would be allowed to change their reservation and rebook their flight to another travel date, or receive a refund, said SAS.
Here's a link to more information about changing your flight or requesting a refund.
Meanwhile in Europe, a cruise ship carrying 6,000 passengers was placed on lockdown off the coast of Italy as a Chinese couple were being tested for the coronavirus.
The outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan – which is an international transport hub – at a fish market in late December and since then 170 people have died, with about 7,700 confirmed cases.
Outside China, Macau and Hong Kong there have been at least 80 infections reported, including one person in Finland, but none in the rest of the Nordic region.
The large extent of international travel means that individual cases of people contracting the virus cannot be ruled out, but health authorities believe the risk of catching the virus in Scandinavia is very low.