Photo: Jakkrit Prasertwit

MIAMI – Air France (AF) announces that it will cancel 3,600 flights to Europe in March following the gravity of coronavirus spread in the region.

The reduction of flights to the continent represents 13% of the long-haul capacity of the carrier and a 50% cut in routes to and from Italy, according to the owner group, Air France-KLM.

The measure taken comes after the Italian north was put in quarantine and the Government of Spain suspended flights to the neighbor country because of the increase in virus cases.

The group also announced that its sister airline, KLM (KL), will reduce long-haul routes in a similar percentage due to the low demand registered in February. For the month, AF’s passenger count went down 6 million from all flights canceled.

Photo: Anna Zvereva

Updated: airlines flight reductions thus far

United Airlines (UA) was the first US carrier to announce on March 5 that it would cut domestic flights by 10% and international routes by 20% in April due to the COVID-19.

airBaltic (BT) immediately suspended all flights to/from Milan and Verona on March 8 until the end of April, after the carrier was notified of a passenger who was diagnosed with the Covid-19 coronavirus on flight BT630 from Milan the day before.

Lufthansa (LH) also canceled flights for the months of March and June due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with 7,100 domestic and Italy-bound flights the airline canceled, amounting to 25% of its capacity. In addition, Ryanair (FR) swiftly cut its offer to and from Italy.

Furthermore, Norweigan (DY) has just announced it plans to cancel around 3000 flights in the mid-March to mid-June period. The decrease represents an approximate 15% reduction in overall capacity across DY’s network.

Moreover, Qantas (QF) announced today it is reducing by 23% its international scheduled flights until mid-September 2020. The reductions are focussed on Asia, down 31% compared with the same period last year; for US, 19%; for UK, 17%; and for Trans-Tasman, 10%.

However, according to the airline, rather than axing routes altogether, QF will use smaller aircraft and reduce the frequency of flights to maintain overall connectivity.

Finally, Korean Air (KE) is cutting 44 routes from its schedule this week, bringing its total capacity down 76% since the start of February, this according to Alas, KE has grounded its entire fleet of Airbus A380s due to low passenger demand as the COVID-19 crisis continues.