Flights across the globe have been postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing health emergency the coronavirus pandemic has caused. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all non-essential international travel, meaning most flights have been grounded. Experts have also warned some airports are “at risk” of closures because of the lack of business as nine out of 10 flights have been grounded in Britain since the lockdown began last month.
In the last week, just 711 departures from the UK’s 10 biggest airports were recorded. compared to 7,865 in the week leading up to the UK’s lockdown.
Independent aviation analyst Martin Evans said airports could now be forced to close.
He said: ”Regional airports, just before the lockdown, were hit by the administration of Flybe.
”So they had already lost a substantial amount of income.
“Now is the start of the period when they should be getting maximum revenue.
“If things return to normal by winter, that’s the point they are at their quietest.
“There is a risk that we could see airports close. That could mean an airport company folds but that the buildings and facilities are still there and someone else would take over, but there is a risk at the moment.”
Some flights, ferries and trains will continue to run as essential lifelines, and travel companies are still taking bookings for later in the year.
Up until recently, Emirates was supposed to resume some flights by mid-May 2020, but that has now been pushed back.
Turkish Airlines has announced it will suspend international flights until May 20 and domestic flights until May 1.
Some reports are suggesting Ryanair and easyJet flights from the UK to airports on the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca in Spain could resume soon under plans drawn up by airport operator Aena.
Carriers like Ryanair, easyJet, and Iberia are offering booking dates on their internet portals from May 10.
British Airways only has a small fleet still flying people home to the UK and deliver critical supplies to countries in need.
Norwegian Air will has cancelled most of its flights and temporarily lay off a major share of its workforce.
Norwegian reported four Swedish and Danish subsidiaries had filed for bankruptcy and that it had ended staffing contracts in Europe and the US, putting some 4,700 jobs at risk.
Virgin Atlantic is operating a significantly reduced schedule due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The FCO has warned against all but essential international travel.
In the office’s “exceptional travel advisory notice”, it said: “As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.
“Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.”
Published at Tue, 21 Apr 2020 18:24:00 +0000