Another update as the coronavirus outbreak continues. European carrier Norwegian has confirmed that it will be canceling several flights, including long-haul transatlantic services between Europe and the United States. As many as 22 services will be suspended between March 28th and May 5th.
What are the cancellations?
According to Forbes, the following services are seeing cancelations:
- Rome-Los Angeles
- Rome-New York (selected departures)
- London-New York (cut from three daily departures to two on some days)
Breaking Travel News reports that bookings for flights departing further into the future are “less affected”. However, “Norwegian is monitoring the developments closely and is continuously evaluating additional changes to its schedule,” the airline said in a statement. The company adds that it has reduced its capacity by up to 15 percent in 2020.
Other coronavirus impacts
Norwegian says that it will also be withdrawing its financial guidance for the year due to the uncertainty and ongoing drop in demand for air travel. “At this stage, it is too early to assess the full impact on our business,” the carrier reports.
Prior to the Italian outbreak, Norwegian had less financial and operational exposure to the coronavirus situation. This is because it does not operate any services to Asia, where the outbreak has been at its worst. However, with Italy becoming the European epicenter, Norwegian is feeling things a little more as it operates some services out of Rome
“We’re complying with all guidance given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Italian authorities regarding travel to and from Italy,” the airline’s website states.
Further east, Emirates is asking its staff to consider taking paid and unpaid leave as it tries to manage a “measurable slowdown” in its operations. With Emirates Group employing over 100,000 workers across its vast portfolio of subsidiaries, the service cuts have rendered many employees redundant.
For the airline itself, this includes more than 21,000 cabin crew and 4,000 pilots as of the end of March 2019. The Emirates Group also includes Dnata ground services, Emirates Holidays, and Emirates Leisure Retail – just to name a few.
Meanwhile, the International Transport Association (IATA) has released updated estimates for the financial impact of the coronavirus. It now foresees potential 2020 revenue losses could reach over $100billion for the global air transport industry. This is five times as much compared to a previous statement released only two weeks ago.
It appears that if you have a booking for a flight that takes place before March 28th you’ll be okay. However, for any flight bookings after, passengers should have been contacted by Norwegian and offered a new itinerary. However, if that hasn’t happened, take a look at the airline’s website under “Manage Your Booking” or call the customer service telephone line to confirm your situation.
Will you be affected by these service changes? Let us know by leaving a comment.
Norwegian was contacted for further comment. However, no response was received at the time of publishing this article.