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Ryanair to cancel almost all flights as virus locks down Europe


Ryanair Holdings, Europe's biggest discount airline, said it expects to ground most if not all flights from next week as the coronavirus pandemic prompts people to avoid travel and governments lock down borders.

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Starting March 24 the carrier will operate only "a very small number of flights to maintain essential connectivity," mostly between the U.K. and Ireland, it said Wednesday.

The global airline industry needs government aid and bailout measures totaling between $150 billion and $200 billion if it's to survive the coronavirus crisis, according to the International Air Transport Association. The group expects the outbreak to reshape the industry, with many airlines failing, others consolidating and entirely new groupings emerging.

Ryanair had said March 16 it would defer all capital and discretionary spending, halt share buybacks and freeze recruitment to hep preserve cash. It said then that the bulk of capacity would be cut.

Ryanair has a fleet of over 450 Boeing 737 narrow-body jets, as well as 25 Airbus A320 planes at its Austria unit.

 

Published : March 18, 2020

By : Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Siddharth Philip · BUSINESS, WORLD, TRANSPORTATION, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS, EUROPE