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UK airlines cancel flights over virus

International 04 Mar, 2020 Follow News

British Airways has cancelled many flights over coronavirus

British Airways and budget rival Ryanair have cancelled hundreds of flights as demand for travel drops in the UK amid fears about the spread of coronavirus.

BA is cancelling 226 flights from 16-28 March from London to destinations including New York, Italy, France, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Ireland.

Ryanair will cut up to 25 percent of flights in and out of Italy from 17 March to 8 April. Tourists and businesspeople are cutting back on foreign travel.

There could be a "very significant expansion" of the number of cases of coronavirus in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said: "Our focus at this time is on minimising any risk to our people and our passengers. While we are heavily booked over the next two weeks, there has been a notable drop in forward bookings towards the end of March, into early April.

"It makes sense to selectively prune our schedule to and from those airports where travel has been most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak."

The firm declined to say how many flights or passengers would be affected.

However, it said the move would not affect its results for the financial year which ends on 31 March.

British Airways said it would contact customers on cancelled flights to offer rebooking on to other carriers, refunds or another flight with BA for a later date of travel.

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