Coronavirus: Airliners Apply for Aid to Fend off Bankruptcy

  • Many airline companies have had to reduce flights significantly due to the outbreak.
  • American Airlines has also decided to reduce its international flights by 75 percent.
  • Air New Zealand has decided to cut long-haul flights by 85 percent.

Due to the increasing spread of the coronavirus, the obstacles brought by many countries to travel restrictions have made airline companies and travel agents financially difficult. The world-renowned travel company, TUI, has announced that it will apply for state aid, largely halting its commercial activities due to the coronavirus.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), and novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It was first detected during the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

In the statement made by the company based in Hannover, it was stated that package tours and ship tours will not be made. The statement stated that “due to the unprecedented escalation of COVID-19, the board of TUI are continuously evaluating the situation and are considering a variety of actions to support our customers, colleagues, and stakeholders.”

Many airline companies also had to reduce flights significantly due to the outbreak. British Airways parent company IAG announced in April and May that it would reduce its capacity by 75 percent compared to the previous year. The Spanish Iberia, Irish Aer Lingus, and discount airline companies Level and Vueling, are also affiliated with IAG, who said they have solid funding. However, the uncertainty about the duration and effects of the coronavirus outbreak makes it impossible to predict earnings this year.

British Airways announced that spending was frozen, working hours were shortened, and contracts temporarily suspended so that the company could survive. Easyjet, the rival of IAG, to which British Airways is affiliated, announced that the vast majority of the fleet would not lift up due to travel restrictions in the short term.

Coronaviruses are species of virus belonging to the subfamily Coronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae, in the order Nidovirales. There are seven known strains of human coronaviruses, including COVID-19.

Air France-KLM announced that 70-90 percent of the flights will be canceled in April and May. The company stated that the financial results could not be predicted. Air France announced that its flight capacity will gradually decrease up to 90 percent, thereby saving €200 million and reducing investments by €350 million.

Lufthansa, the biggest airline company in Europe, also got a negative impact. The company announced that it will seek state aid last week due to the epidemic. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy met with Lufthansa and union officials on Monday.

American Airlines has also decided to reduce its international flights by 75 percent. It was announced that this decision will be in force until May 6 at the first stage. American domestic flights will decrease by 20 percent in April. Delta and Southwest, rivals of American Airlines, announced that they would reduce their flights in the same way but did not give numbers.

US airline companies initially canceled their flights to and from China and Italy. It has been announced that from midnight last Friday, those coming from Europe will not be admitted to the country. Those who will travel from the UK and Ireland to the USA will not be able to enter the country.

Air New Zealand has decided to cut long-haul flights by 85 percent. Greg Foran, the company president, announced that the company would go to staff reduction, but it did not give a concrete figure on this matter. Air New Zealand employs 8,000 people.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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