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More flights cancelled

The BBC reports that travel restrictions and a slump in demand due to the coronavirus have forced airlines to cancel most flights and temporarily reduce staff.

Left: Heathrow Airport is set to become much less busy over the coming weeks

(Image - Heathrow Airport)

The Corporation says Virgin Atlantic will cut four-fifths of its flights and has asked staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave. Ryanair and EasyJet are grounding most of their fleets, while BA owner IAG is to cut capacity by 75%. Norwegian Air has cancelled thousands of flights and will temporarily lay off more than 7,500 staff. Holiday company Tui has said it will suspend the "majority" of its operations, affecting "package travel, cruises and hotel" bookings.

Passenger numbers and bookings have plummeted in recent weeks as countries closed their borders and holiday makers cancelled trips. Forecasts by the research firm Centre for Aviation now predict that most airlines in the world will be bankrupt by the end of May unless they receive financial support.

"Coordinated government and industry action is needed - now - if catastrophe is to be avoided," the firm said in a statement. "Demand is drying up in ways that are completely unprecedented. Normality is not yet on the horizon."

Speculation is mounting that most US airlines, including American (above) and United (below) are facing bankruptcy due to the mass groundings that are taking place

Images - Kevan James