Argentina, Cuba Cancel Flights From Mexico

The World Health Organization says countries need to prepare themselves for the possibility of a pandemic from swine flu, saying there is too much uncertainty about what direction the infection might take.Video by AP
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Argentine and Cuban governments said yesterday that they would suspend flights from Mexico in light of the swine flu outbreak.

Argentine cabinet chief Sergio Massa announced a ban on direct flights from Mexico through Monday. That came hours after Cuba announced a 48-hour halt to flights to and from Mexico.

Europe's second-largest airline, Lufthansa, reported yesterday that passenger cancellations for flights into Mexico have risen and that planes leaving the country are "completely full" as people flee the swine flu outbreak.

"There are a sizable amount of travelers trying to leave Mexico," company spokeswoman Jennifer Urbaniak said.

The German airline was the first to offer details of how air carriers are reacting to the outbreak. U.S. airlines have provided no specifics about how the outbreak is affecting travel.

American Airlines, a big U.S. carrier to Mexican cities, said yesterday that some people are postponing trips to Mexico, but not "an extraordinary amount."

Meanwhile, in the United States, a national flight attendants union and the union representing airport screening officers asked federal agencies yesterday to implement passenger-screening standards and to make respirators, gloves and hand sanitizers available to security officers during the flu outbreak.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports

© 2009 The Washington Post Company