Romanian flag carrier TAROM has suspended flights to seven countries because of newly imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions. The countries are Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, and Lebanon.
Why the restrictions?
TAROM is the national airline of the European country of Romania, which has dynamic outbound travel restrictions for its residents. You are allowed to leave Romania if the country you are going to has registered an average of less than five new cases per 1 million inhabitants in the last two weeks.
There is also a national state of alert declared in the country, lasting until 15 August. The TAROM flights that have been canceled are canceled through until that date.
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At the same time, Romania has been hit hard by COVID-19 itself. Over the period of the last two weeks, the country has been registering a continuous and consistent increase in the number of people infected.
Romania’s government has listed that the following European Union countries have active restrictions in place concerning Romanian residents: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Where has TAROM canceled flights?
In a Facebook post published yesterday, TAROM outlined the list of countries to which it has suspended commercial flights until 15 August this year. The date is likely to be pushed back if Romania extends the national state of alert.
As listed in the Facebook post, the countries are Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, and Lebanon.
In Egypt, TAROM flies to Cairo. However, it also used to fly to Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and Taba. In Israel, this is Tel Aviv, and in Jordan it is Amman. In Moldova it is Chişinău, in Serbia it is Belgrade, and in Turkey it is Istanbul. In Lebanon it is Beirut.
How is TAROM doing financially?
TAROM was not doing well financially before COVID-19 broke out, so the present circumstances actually come in handy for the airline. Back in December, as Simple Flying reported at the time, the Romanian government proposed a 150 million euro subsidy for its flag carrier. This is almost the identical amount that Croatia Airlines will be receiving from Croatia‘s government.
Both airlines can now use COVID-19 as an excuse to request financial assistance from their countries’ governments. So, in that regard, COVID-19 could actually be a positive circumstance for airlines like TAROM that were loss-making before the pandemic broke out.
The only question that remains is whether they will also use the crisis to restructure their operations, or just use it to request a cash injection that will eventually lead to major losses again.
Do you think small airlines like TAROM will be able to survive the ongoing crisis in the aviation industry? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.