Some airlines have completely suspended service during coronavirus pandemic

Apr 7, 2020

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

The airline industry has been on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left carriers across the globe scrambling as demand for travel has plummeted.

One of the latest updates comes in Turkey, where global carrier Turkish Airlines has suspended all flights into April. International flights won’t resume until May.

Another move underscoring the colossal shift underway comes in Europe, where the continent’s two largest low-cost carriers – Ryanair and EasyJet – have suspended all operations. Ryanair said it plans to begin flying again in June, but EasyJet has not yet given details about when it will restart its services. Another well-known European carrier, Virgin Atlantic, has also come close to shutting down for now, saying it will operate just three routes across its entire network through 19 April.

In the U.S., the big three carriers of American, Delta and United have all slashed their schedules as passenger traffic has dried up. American, for example, is now flying only three long-haul routes from North America: One to Tokyo and two to London. The carriers also have cut domestic flights, as have other airlines, including Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue. More cuts are likely as the coronavirus crisis persists.

Across the globe, a number of airlines have made even more drastic changes.

In Europe, aside from the carriers mentioned above, Brussels Airlines said it would temporarily ground all of its beginning 21 March through 19 April.

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The Belgian carrier is not alone. Just a day earlier, Austrian Airlines announced it would do the same. Both airlines are part of the Lufthansa Group.

A number of other operators — both in Europe and elsewhere — have moved to either completely or mostly suspend their entire operation as they wait for the pandemic to ease. The fallout has even spread to Africa, where Rwanda’s RwandAir has joined the list of carriers suspending their entire operation.

Even in North America, Canada’s Porter Airlines among those that have temporarily suspended service.

Here’s a look at some other major carriers that are suspending all or most of their operations during the pandemic. This post shows a limited selection of carriers and is not meant to be comprehensive. It may be updated with other airlines and information as news develops.

Air Baltic suspended all operations beginning 17 March through 14 April.

Air France will reduce its network by up to 90% in the coming days, including temporarily grounding its Airbus A380 fleet.

Air Serbia temporarily suspended all flights beginning 19 March in response to a government order. No resumption date has yet been announced.

Avianca will suspend all international operations and domestic operations will be reduced by 84% starting on 23 March until at least 30 April.

Austrian Airlines will temporarily suspend all operations beginning 18 March, through at least 3 May.

Brussels Airlines will suspend all operations beginning 21 March through 15 May.

Cathay Pacific will cut 96% of its network capacity in April and May.

Copa has suspended all flights through 21 April.

EasyJet will be grounding most flights, aside from rescue operations, until further notice.

KLM will reduce its network by up to 90%, including retiring its Boeing 747 fleet.

La Compagnie has suspended all flights between Newark (EWR) and Paris-Orly (ORY) from 18 March through 30 April.

LOT Polish Airlines has suspended all international flights, on order of the Polish government, through 11 April.

Lufthansa is paring down its network, but will continue serving select destinations in the U.S. and other countries.

Norwegian has cut 85% of its network, including all long-haul flights, and will temporarily lay off 7,300 of its employees. The remaining flights are operating in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark only.

Qantas is suspending all international flying and grounding its entire widebody fleet through at least the end of May, and reduce frequencies on its domestic network.

Royal Air Maroc suspended all flights until further notice.

RwandAir will suspend all flights from 21 March through 20 April.

Ryanair has said it will suspend all of its commercial flights until at least June

SAS has cut “most” of its operations. A comprehensive daily list of cancelled flights is available on the airline’s website, with the company adding that “the demand for air travel is essentially non-existent.”

Singapore Airlines cut 96% of its network capacity through the at least the end of April, but has not announced a date for the resumption of normal services.

South African Airways has suspended all international flights through the end of May.

Turkish has suspended all flights, with intra-Turkey flying set to resume on 20 April, and international routes set to begin again on 1 May.

Virgin Atlantic will only fly from London Heathrow to New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) and Hong Kong (HKG) through 19 April. The airline previously announced it would permanently suspend service to Newark (EWR) as a result of the pandemic.

Virgin Australia is cutting all international flying through at least 14 June and significantly reducing its domestic network.

Liz Hund contributed reporting. 

Featured photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images.

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