Airline suffers weak demand
British Airways cancels flights and warns of hit over virus
BA suffering ‘weak demand’
British Airways is cancelling trips to northern Italy, Korea and Singapore as its owner said its earnings will suffer from the coronavirus.
EasyJet is also cancelling some flights – mainly in and out of Italy after seeing a “significant” softening of demand into and out of its northern Italian bases and across its other European markets due to the virus outbreak.
International Airlines Group, BA’s parent group, said it is experiencing “demand weakness” on Asian and European routes and a weakening of business travel across its network resulting from the cancellation of industry events and corporate travel restrictions.
In Asia, flights to mainland China have been suspended. On 29 January British Airways suspended its daily flight to both Beijing and Shanghai and Iberia suspended its three times weekly service to Shanghai on 31 January.
Some services on other Asian routes have been reduced. From 13 February British Airways reduced its daily Hong Kong service from two to one. From 13 March it will reduce its daily service to Seoul to 3-4 times weekly.
Some of the freed-up longhaul capacity is being redeployed to routes with stronger demand. British Airways has announced additional flights to India, South Africa and the US, while Iberia is increasing capacity on US and domestic routes.
Capacity on Italian routes for March has been significantly reduced through a combination of cancellations and change of aircraft gauge and further capacity reductions will be activated over the coming days.