EasyJet and British Airways have announced drastic cuts in flight schedules because of coronavirus.
EasyJet has warned that most of its fleet will be grounded and there will be "significant cancellations” due to coronavirus restrictions and a slump in customer demand.
“There is no guarantee that European airlines will survive what could be a long-term travel freeze and the risks of a slow recovery,” said Easyjet.
Easyjet Chief Executive, Johan Lundgren said the carrier is taking immediate action to remove costs and non-critical expenditure at every level and that grounding planes will help to save a significant amount of money.
"At easyJet we are doing everything in our power to rise to the challenges of the coronavirus so that we can continue to provide the benefits that aviation brings to people, the economy and business,” he said.
Lundgren confirmed that the airline will continue to help repatriate British people who are overseas, but said it’s obvious that coronavirus will affect the company’s bottom line.
"European aviation faces a precarious future and it is clear that co-ordinated government backing will be required to ensure the industry survives and is able to continue to operate when the crisis is over,” said Lundgren.
The IAG group, which owns British Airways, British Airways CityFlyer, Iberia, Iberia Express, Iberia Regional, Air Nostrum, Air Lingus, SunAir and Vueling has announced that its flights will be cut by at least 75% in April and May.
The group also confirmed that it will be adopting a series of measures in a bid to slimline costs.
"We have seen a substantial decline in bookings across our airlines and global network over the past few weeks and we expect demand to remain weak until well into the summer,” he said. "We are therefore making significant reductions to our flying schedules and will continue to monitor demand levels and have the flexibility to make further cuts if necessary. We are also taking actions to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow at each of our airlines. IAG is resilient with a strong balance sheet and substantial cash liquidity."
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