MORE AIRLINES SET TO HALT FLIGHTS OR CUT CAPACITY
(Posted 17th March 2020)
Let me start with some good news that Qatar Airways has clarified on their immediate plans and will continue to fly to such locations which are still open for air transportation.
Forbes has in fact referred to the initial uncertainty once the original announcement was made and had this to say:
Meanwhile though are aviation prospects in other parts of the world rather bleak, as Brussels Airlines will halt their flights to East Africa, i.e. Uganda – not affected by the virus but having imposed entry restrictions – Rwanda and Burundi this weekend and neighbours KLM are likely to follow suit, given the drop in passenger numbers witnessed over the past few days.
Airlines now in shutdown mode are:
French airline La Compagnie announced on Thursday that it would be suspending operations until the US travel restrictions are lifted. The exclusively business class airline operates two routes from the French cities of Paris and Nice to Newark, New Jersey,, using Airbus A321 aircraft.
LOT Polish Airlines is suspending its operations in Poland and Hungary following a directive from the Polish government to close its borders in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Air Baltic announced that it will suspend all operations as the government of Latvia, where the carrier is based.
SAS Scandinavian Airlines announced on Sunday that it would be suspending operations due to a decrease in demand for travel with an unknown resumption date.
Royal Jordanian Airlines announced on Sunday it would suspend all of its flights from Amman starting on March 17.
Austrian Airlines announced on Monday a ‘temporary’ suspension of flights for a 10-day period starting March 18.
Finnair announced on Monday that it will be suspending a majority of its operation and will only be servicing “critical air connections for Finland such as domestic flights.
Virgin Atlantic on Monday announced a major reduction in services that will see the airline temporarily grounding 85% of its aircraft by April.
Norwegian Air announced on Monday it will be canceling 85% of its flights as a result of travel restrictions.
Swiss, along with other Lufthansa Group airlines, will implement a steep reduction in short-haul and long-haul services by between 80% and 90%, respectively.
Brussels Airlines too will implement a significant suspension of operations as part of its parent company’s Monday announcement to severely reduce flying across all member airlines.
The Brussels-based airline’s German parent company announced long-haul flying reductions by up to 90% and short-haul reductions by up to 80%.
German LCC Eurowings is slated to be affected by the Lufthansa Group’s announcement on Monday to reduce long and short-haul flying across all member airlines.
Air Dolomiti announced it will be ceasing operations for nearly a month as Italy remains under lockdown.
Ryanair confirmed on Monday that the airline will ground the majority of its European fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft as COVID19 made demand collapse and countries across Europe were restricting access for foreign visitors.
EasyJet announced similar measure at almost the same time, also looking at grounding up to or more than 85 percent of their fleet.
US airline giants Delta, American and United have all said that up to 85 percent of their long haul operations would come to a halt due to the rise in global travel restrictions and the stop of travel into the US by foreign nationals. Overall have US airlines asked their government for 58 billion US Dollars in financial support to survive the current crisis.
Airbus A380 fleets are being prioritized by airlines operating this aircraft type to be grounded as he collapse in load factors has hit the largest passenger aircraft in the skies the hardest.
To make matters worse are a growing number of airports shutting down operations, in part due to a lack of travel demand and in part because their governments have imposed travel bans for visitors.
It is expected that across the aviation industry tens of thousands of people will be laid off, asked to take unpaid leave or go on – where available – government supported bridging schemes.