The fallout from the coronavirus spread across the Pacific Friday, with Australian travel corporations issuing profit warnings and Japanese carriers paring capacity, while U.S. airlines rushed to cut flights to Europe in the wake of recent travel bans.
U.S. travel bans on much of continental Europe introduced by President Trump Wednesday deepened the sector’s distress that started after the coronavirus emerged in China in December 2019 and reduced traffic.
United Airlines Holdings warned of U.S. travel disturbance as the coronavirus spreads domestically and famous tourist places like Walt Disney’s theme parks in California and Florida stated they’d close.
American Airlines Group and United stated they’d continue regular flights to and from Europe for the next week; however, it would be lowering the capacity to Europe by around 50% next month.
American further stated it was paring international capacity by 34% for the summer travel season and speeding-up the retirement of its Boeing 757 and 767 jets.
Delta Air Lines stated it will significantly cut back its U.S.-Europe schedule after Sunday as it observes customer demand.
German airport operator Fraport stated Friday that passenger numbers at its crucial Frankfurt airport dropped by nearly 30% in the first week of March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Air France KLM SA stated Friday that it had drawn down on 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) worth of its revolving credit facility to assist its financial position.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), an international group representing airlines, called on governments to contemplate extending lines of credit, reducing infrastructure costs and cutting taxes.