2 MARCH 2020


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Article from BTNews 2 MARCH 2020

ITB axed in virus clampdown

The continuing battle against coronavirus saw the ITB Berlin tradeshow cancelled last week. The event, considered the pre-eminent tradeshow for the European hospitality market, was due to start this Wednesday, 4 March.

The outbreak has led to the cancellation of more than 200,000 flights so far, two-thirds affecting services to, from and within China including those of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Chinese airlines have scrapped more than 60% of their scheduled flights while BA and Virgin are just two of the numerous international carriers to have taken similar action.

Coronavirus cases in Italy last week also led to easyJet cancelling services at short notice. Italy was one of the countries bringing in new entry restrictions on travellers arriving from affected areas.

Flight data specialist Cirium said countries with the biggest exposure to outbound Chinese leisure travellers, such as Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia had seen schedules cut by 70% or more on services to China and further reductions on non-Chinese routes.

El Al said Sunday it was considering firing 1,000 staff out of its total workforce of around 6,000 due to losses linked to the outbreak.  Israel has cancelled direct flights to and from areas of high contamination and has barred foreign nationals from entering the country if they have traveled from such areas.

Travellers in the UK were advised to continue to keep a close eye on bulletins on the Foreign Office website and check with their airlines before any trips. All airline websites are now carrying the latest advice.

See also ON THE SOAPBOX in this issue.


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