Mar 16, 2020

Airlines slash more flights as coronavirus hits

Travel restrictions and a slump in demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have forced airlines to lay off staff and cut more flights. In a memo to staff titled "The Survival of British Airways", Alex Cruz warned that the airline industry was facing a "Crisis of global proportions" that was worse than that caused by the Sars virus or 9/11. IAG - which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus - said it had suspended flights to China, reduced capacity on Asian routes, cancelled all flights to, from and within Italy as well as making other changes to its network. Aviation analyst Mr Strickland said cancelling flights meant airlines had no cash coming in whatsoever. "Stemming the blood loss... by cancelling flights and parking aircraft is one thing, but airlines are both capital and labour intensive so there has to be support of the costs that cannot be avoided even if an airline is grounded," Mr Strickland said. Last week, Norwegian airlines said it would cancel 4,000 flights and temporarily lay off about half of its staff because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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