Airlines have started to cancel flights to Mexico and some are acting in response to governments trying to contain the spread of the deadly swine flu.

Argentina's government has announced that passenger flights to Mexico are to be suspended until 4 May.

Cuba has banned passenger flights until midnight 1 May although it has made an exception if the airline is planning to only transport Mexicans wishing to leave Cuba and return home.

In Europe TUI, which also owns Thomasfly and First Choice Airways, has stopped all flights to Mexico until 8 May.

Canadian carrier WestJet has announced it is suspending services to its four destinations in Mexico with effect from 4 May but it plan to resume services to three of the destinations on 20 June.

Another Canadian carrier, Transat, says its last return service from Mexico will be 3 May and its flights from France and Canada to Mexico will only resume on 31 May and 1 June respectively.

Other carriers are responding by making it easier for passengers to delay or cancel trips to Mexico.

Airlines are trying to allay passenger concerns by highlighting that cabin crew will be monitoring passengers closely for any signs of illness.

Some countries, such as Australia, are requiring that the aircraft captain report to the ground any passengers that have flu-like symptoms.

The World Health Organisation has increased the alert level to phase five, one step below pandemic level.

Latest reports show swine flu has killed 159 people in Mexico and one in the USA. There are also about 2,500 suspected and confirmed cases of people in Mexico infected with swine flu.

The USA has 91 confirmed cases of infections, New Zealand 14, Canada 13, Spain 10, Britain five, Germany three, Israel two, Costa Rica two and Austria one.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news