Coronavirus: EasyJet has said it is introducing "further significant cancellations"

EasyJet has said it is introducing "further significant cancellations" as a result of travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 5:49 pm

The airline said in a statement: "Due to the unprecedented level of travel restrictions being imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and significantly reduced levels of customer demand, easyJet has undertaken further significant cancellations.

"These actions will continue on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future and could result in the grounding of the majority of the easyJet fleet.

"EasyJet will continue to operate rescue flights for short periods where we can, in order to repatriate customers."

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Aircrafts operated by British low cost airline Easyjet are lined up at Tegel airport in Berlin

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to both Kenya and South Africa after restrictions imposed on people entering either place if they have come from countries affected by coronavirus, including the UK.

The measures come into effect in Kenya on Tuesday and South Africa on Wednesday.

British Airways' parent company IAG also announced plans to reduce capacity.

It said in a statement: "IAG is implementing further initiatives in response to this challenging market environment.

"Capacity, in terms of available seat kilometres, in the first quarter of 2020 is now expected to be reduced by around 7.5% compared to last year.

"For April and May, the group plans to reduce capacity by at least 75% compared to the same period in 2019.

"IAG is also taking actions to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow. These include grounding surplus aircraft, reducing and deferring capital spending, cutting non-essential and non-cyber related IT spend, freezing recruitment and discretionary spending, implementing voluntary leave options, temporarily suspending employment contracts and reducing working hours."

Travel company Tui said: "In this rapidly changing environment the safety and welfare of our guests and employees worldwide remains of paramount importance and thus Tui Group has decided, in line with government guidelines, to suspend the vast majority of all travel operations until further notice, including package travel, cruises and hotel operations.

"This temporary suspension is aimed at contributing to global governmental efforts to mitigate the effects of the spread of the Covid-19."