Decline in demand for airtravel in Europe poses significant challenges for airlines

#COVID19 CAUSES DEMAND FOR AIR TRAVEL TO WEAKEN SUBSTANTIALLY

(Posted 02nd March 2020)

Coronavirus: Strong decline in demand for air travel in Europe prompts Brussels Airlines to review its flight offer and to investigate economic measures

Flight reductions to and from Northern Italy

Other economic measures are being considered

Because of the rapidly declining demand in air travel within Europe, Brussels Airlines has taken the decision to reduce flight frequencies on a number of routes in order to limit the negative economic impact on its business. The Belgian airline notices an overall negative booking trend on nearly all European markets but Northern Italy is the most impacted.

As a result, Brussels Airlines will reduce by 30% the frequency of its flights to Northern Italy for the coming two weeks. It concerns flight to Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa, Rome, Venice and Bologna between 02nd and at least the 14th of March.

Passengers whose flight is canceled are being contacted and rebooked on other available flights or they can choose to get a full refund, if they do not wish to travel anymore.

Next to adapting its flight schedule to the declining demand, the Belgian airline is looking into economic measures, such as temporary technical unemployment, and has decided to extend its hiring freeze to the whole company.

Meanwhile was it also learned that parent corporation Lufthansa has taken out capacity from the market of the equivalent of over 20 long haul aircraft as demand has rapidly weakened on routes to Asia, across Europe and beyond.

Other airlines across Europe and North America too are presently reducing capacity on offer to match the weakening demand for air travel.

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