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Coronavirus COVID-19 Impact
There is no doubt that COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on volumes of bookings in the travel industry. Airlines are cutting their schedules and asking staff to take unpaid leave as a result of cancellations, restrictions and the fall in demand. A number of airlines have closed their doors, and over 250 have suspended all operations although there are some that have re-started operations. Others such as Korean Air, already facing difficulties have written to staff to set expectations that the situation is grave. Volumes have recovered over time so T2RL have made the decision to track the top 50 airlines which currently account for 62% of the global passengers boarded (Adjusted) as an indicator for of the impact of COVID-19.


Latest Headlines

03/06/2020The Trump administration makes a move to block Chinese carriers from the United States. The US Transportation Department said it would suspend passenger flights of 4 Chinese airlines (Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines) to and from the US starting 16th June. The decision was a response to China's failure to let United and Delta resume flights this week to China. The Transportation Department said that China was violating a 1980 agreement between the two countries covering flights by each other's airlines.
01/06/2020Worldwide cases have now crossed 6.28 million with +374,000 deaths. The USA accounts for the highest number of cases with over 1.83 million, followed by Brazil with +514,000 and Russia with +414,000. Over the past week confirmed cases in India have risen to +191,000 exceeding France, Germany and Turkey. The number of cases in Peru have also risen to +164,000, exceeding Turkey and Iran.
29/05/2020As of 29th May 2020, 63 carriers have re-started their operations after a period of complete suspension and 340 airlines remain suspended. Around 140 carriers have plans to re-start limited operations during the month of June. 
29/05/2020Domestic air travel in China has now reached more than 50% of 2019 volumes based on issued air tickets, according to data from ForwardKeys; Saudi Arabia has announced the resumption of domestic flights from 31st May; Japan is preparing to begin a phased relaunch of the domestic tourism sector; Bangladesh plans to resume domestic flights from 1st June. 
25/05/2020Worldwide cases have now crossed 5.5 million with 350,000 deaths. The 10 countries with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases are USA, Brazil, Russia, Spain, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey and India. India overtook Iran becoming the 10th country as the number of cases in India has doubled over the past 2 weeks.
23/05/2020Latin America has reported more new Covid-19 cases than either the USA or Europe for three consecutive days, driven by increasing cases in Brazil, Peru and Mexico. Brazil has now overtaken Russia and has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the world, according to data from the World Health Organization. 
21/05/2020Italy is planning to re-open all airports from 3rd June which is the same date the country intends to open all borders; Greece will open the country to tourists from 15th June and most flights to the country will resume by 1st July. 
21/05/2020The Indian DGCA has announced the resumption of domestic flights in India on Monday 25th May in a calibrated manner, after two months of complete suspension. The Indian government has allowed only one-third of the normal domestic flights to operate and has set limits on fares which will be applicable for three months. There is no indication yet on when scheduled international flights will resume. 
20/05/2020Colombia has extended their ban on international passenger flights until 31st August; Panama authorities have also extended their international flight suspension until 22nd June; Thailand has extended their ban on inbound international flights until the end of June; Egypt has extended the suspension of all international passenger flights until further notice. 
18/05/2020Worldwide cases approach 5 million with 300,000 deaths. Infection rates are dropping in most of Europe and lockdown rules are being gradually and locally relaxed, although most countries are closed for tourism. Russia now has most infections in Europe approaching 300,000. Infection rates have stabilised in North America with 100,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19.
10/05/2020Worldwide cases exceed 4 million but with Europe and North America seeing a decrease of cases and deaths and start easing lockdown restrictions. Cases and deaths are increasing rapidly however in Russia and Brazil with 10,000 new cases per day.
05/05/2020‘Travel bubbles’ like the one announced by Australia and New Zealand are expected to be one way countries can start to move forward out of the crisis, with certain countries opening their borders to others with low cases in virus numbers.
03/05/2020Warren Buffett sells all of his shares in Delta, American, Southwest and United Airlines. The influential billionaire investor said his company, Berkshire Hathaway, has sold all of its shares in the four largest US airlines. Speaking at the annual shareholders' meeting, Mr Buffett said "the world has changed" because of the coronavirus”. The conglomerate had an 11% stake in Delta Air Lines, 10% of American Airlines, 10% of Southwest Airlines, and 9% of United Airlines. More details
01/05/2020As the industry grapples with the impact of this pandemic, many leading airlines have announced actual or potential reductions in workforce following the grounding of 2/3 of the global fleet. These include Ryanair, EasyJet, BA , SAS, AA, Norwegian Air, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Air Transat and Lufthansa. Boeing and Airbus have also announced staff cutbacks. More details here
28/04/2020Governments further impose and extend coronavirus travel bans. Argentina has placed a ban on all commercial flights until 1st September; Indonesia has banned commercial flights until 1st May; Nepal has extended the suspension of all flights until 15th May; Pakistan has extended the suspension of international flights until 15th May; India's DGCA has directed airlines not to accept any bookings until further notice.
27/04/2020Worldwide coronavirus infections reached 3 million with 200,000 deaths. There are 1 Million cases in North America, and 60,000 deaths. UK became the 4th European country to pass 20,000 deaths after Italy, Spain and France. Ireland became the 17th country to record over 1000 deaths due to the virus.
24/04/2020United is the first US airline to introduce a compulsory face covering or mask for all flight attendants from 24 April. This has been welcomed by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) who would also like Washington to require all passengers to wear masks. From last Monday all passengers in Canada have been required to wear masks during boarding and flights. Other measures such as not using the middle seats, pausing automatic upgrades and changes to boarding processes have already been implemented by some airlines.
20/04/2020France becomes the 3rd European country to exceed 20,000 deaths after Italy and Spain, with official estimates of 1 million cases in the continent. There are signs that the death rate has peaked in Europe. US deaths passed the 40,000 mark, and 750,000 cases. Worldwide there are reported cases and deaths in effectively all countries with the majority of countries facing some form of official lockdown. Over 300 airlines have suspended all operations > Link
16/04/2020Emirates is the first airline to trial on-site Covid-19 blood tests for passengers. In conjunction with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) passengers flying from Dubai to Tunisia had a blood test and received the results within 10 minutes. Plans are to scale this further for flights to countries that require Covid-19 test certificates. This comes in the same week as the CEO for Heathrow airport, John Holland-Kaye requests that governments agree a common international standard on medical screening at airports.
15/04/2020Ten U.S. carriers have agreed to the terms by the Treasury Department to accept $25 billion in payroll assistance during the coronavirus crisis. The payroll bailout covers Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The payroll grants require airlines not to furlough or cut the pay rates of any employees until 30th September 2020.
12/04/2020The epicentre of the coronavirus is now shifting to North America where USA now has the highest case count of over 500,000 and over 20,000 deaths surpassing Italy, Spain and France. There are around 30,000 new cases daily, with around 180,000 in New York state. Over 100,000 deaths worldwide are attributed to the pandemic in 2020.
08/04/2020Today the 76 day strict travel ban was lifted in Hubai province, China. Wuhan, epicentre of the pandemic, had been sealed off with barriers in the city, preventing movement, but now 11million Wuhan residents are able to travel, if they have a Green QR Code in their smartphone App., signaling a clean bill of health. All temporary coronavirus hospitals have now been closed in Wuhan and 200 flights are scheduled to leave Wuhan on Wednesday carrying 10,000 passengers.
08/04/2020France has become the fourth country to register more than 10,000 deaths due to coronavirus after Italy, Spain and USA. Japan declared a state of emergency amid a spike in coronavirus cases. UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in a London NHS Intensive Care Unit with severe symptoms of the disease.
07/04/2020IATA has warned that due to three months of severe travel restrictions, as well as lower traffic over 2020, possibly 25million airline jobs worldwide might be at risk as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. IATA reported further that the beginning of the 2nd quarter 2020 has already shown a 70% slump in global air travel. By the end of Q2 2020, $35Billion of tickets will be due for a refund, compounding the financial pressure on airlines.
06/04/2020The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an enforcement notice on 3rd April 2020, warning US and foreign carriers serving the US to issue prompt refunds to passengers for flights cancelled due to Covid-19. This enforcement notice follows a large number of complaints from passengers being denied refunds and being offered travel vouchers or credits instead.
05/04/2020The estimated number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has surpassed 1.27 million, with close to 70 thousand deaths. From the total number of known cases, 264 thousand people are believed to have now recovered and current active cases are estimated to be 940 thousand.
04/04/2020On Saturday 4th April 2020, China observed a national day of mourning for victims of the coronavirus. Chinese President Xi Jinping led the country in 3 minutes of silence at 10am. Flags across the country and at overseas embassies were flown at half-mast, and all public entertainment was suspended for the day. This is the first time China has held a national day of mourning for a public health crisis.
03/04/2020The Singapore government has annouced a new set of measures as a ‘circuit breaker’ against the coronavirus pandemic. From 8th April until 4th May 2020, schools & universities will shift to home-based learning; preschool & student care centres will suspend services; all busines, social & other activities that cannot be conducted from home will be suspended. Only essential services are exempt from this restriction and will continue to operate normally.
02/04/2020The estimated number of cases worldwide is now believed to be 1 million, with around 52,000 deaths. Around half the cases are in Europe with 35,000 deaths across the continent this year. Italy and Spain are the worst hit with over 10,000 deaths each equalling over 200 deaths per 1 million of population (0.02%).
01/04/2020Several airlines have asked their laid-off employees who have completed medical training to help in hospitals and assist overstretched medical workers cope with the rising number of patients due to this pandemic. 
31/03/2020As of 31st March 2020, more than 200 airlines globally have temporarily suspended 100% of their operations due to the ongoing border closures and travel restrictions. See them listed here
31/03/2020US Transport Security Administration (TSA) reports that total traveller throughput at US airports on 30/03/2020 was just 154,080 travellers, compared to 2,360,053 a year ago, indicating a passenger reduction of over 93% link
30/03/2020Worldwide deaths exceed 35,000. A UK Health Official warns that some restrictive measures may need to remain in place for 6 months. The US extended their social distancing guidelines to 30 April and President Trump warns of 100,000 deaths being a favourable outcome.
29/03/2020The Civil Aviation Administration of China has directed all Chinese carriers to maintain only one route to any country and limit the number of flights to one per week. China has also now temporarily suspended the entry of all foreigners including residence permit / visa holders.
28/03/2020The number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has acrossed 600,000. The United States is the first country to surpass 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
27/03/2020The Turkish government has now extended its previous ban from 68 countries to a ban on all international flights to and from Turkey. Also within its national borders, Turkey is only allowing domestic travel with formal permission from local governors.
26/03/2020At least 2.6 billion people, over a third of the world’s population, are now subject to some form of movement restriction after India, the world’s second-most populous country after China, joined the long list of countries imposing shutdown measures this week. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, ordered all 1.3 billion people in the country to remain at their homes for at least three weeks.
26/03/2020New York has become the new epicenter for Covid-19 with over 37,000 cases and 385 deaths as of Thursday midday, with the US overtaking China for total cases, 81,300. The Senate has approved a $2 trillion stimulus package. The package is expected to include roughly $100 billion for hospitals; $350 billion for small businesses; $500 billion in aid for corporations, including airlines and cruiselines; and around $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds.
26/03/2020Russia has seen its sharpest spike in numbers in the past 24 hours, thus Moscow is closing all restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and parks from March 28 until April 5 for the unprecedented “stay-at-home holidays” announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. All International flights will cease with the exception repatriation of Russians.
25/03/2020Since commercial passenger flights are now grounded across many parts of the world, airlines are now repurposing their aircrafts specifically for cargo operations to boost revenue. Some of these airlines are American Airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Delta, Aeromexio, Etihad and Air New Zealand . 
24/03/2020The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus disease pandemic is "accelerating", with more than 400,000 cases now confirmed. It took 67 days from the first reported of Covid-19 to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000, four days for the third 100,000 and just three days for the forth 100,000.
24/03/2020Due to an increasing number of countries closing borders each day, more than 60 airlines globally have now temporarily suspended all their operations whilst many other carriers have suspended all international operations in accordance with government directives.
24/03/2020The UAE Government has announced the suspension of all passenger and transit flights from Wednesday 25th March for two weeks. India has suspended all international flights from 22nd March 2020 and all domestic flights from 24th March 2020. Nigeria and Kenya have also suspended all international flights.
23/03/2020The UK has joined the majority of Europe and issued a Stay-At-Home order to the entire country. Only vital journeys and minimal exercise is permitted. Shops, schools, libraries, gyms and churches will be closed and gatherings limited to just 2 people.
22/03/2020California, USA, residents are put on stay-at-home orders with all bars, restaurants and venues to close. Only essential workers may go to work, and visiting friend or relatives including hospital or care homes is not permitted without urgent need.
20/03/2020The Norwegian government has agreed to back airlines with credit guarantees worth £460 million, with 50% for their largest carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle. The British government is also considering a series of measures as part of a multi-billion pound rescue plan for UK airlines.. 
19/03/2020The Brazilian government announced measures to help airlines; Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, announced the renegotiation of airlines debt. Rescue measures for companies will also be taken by the Ministry of Infrastructure in conjunction with the Ministry of Economy.
19/03/2020Australia will close its borders to all except citizens and permanent residents from 9pm Friday 20th March. New Zealand will also lockdown its borders to all except citizens and permanent residents from 11:59pm Thursday 19th March.
18/03/2020Nigeria has restricted entry for travellers from the following countries; China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, U.S, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland. These are all countries with over 1,000 cases domestically. This restriction will take effect starting March 20th.
18/03/2020President Trump confirmed that the US - Canada border will temporarily close for nonessential travel. The EU has now suspended all travel into the passport-free Schengen zone by non-EU nationals for at least 30 days.
18/03/2020Governments offer airlines aid; Governments of Sweden and Denmark annouced they would provide more than 275 million euros in guarantees to protect SAS from the economic impact of the virus. The Swedish government has announced another 3.5 billion kronor in credit guarantees for other airlines. Australia and Taiwan will also offer financial aid to their aviation sectors. U.S. based airlines are also seeking government assistance of more than $50 billion.
17/03/2020India has announced a ban on passenger arrivals (including Indian citizens) from the European Union, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Travellers from the EU, Turkey and UK are prohibited from entering India between 18th March and 31st March. This ban follows a recent ban which started on 13th March prohibiting entry for foreign passport holders and Overseas Indian Citizen (OCI) cardholders into the country.
17/03/2020UK government advises against all global travel with ‘immediate effect’. The guidance is introduced for 30 days initially to ensure no travellers were stranded abroad, as widespread restrictions are imposed. This ban goes even further than the EU’s move to outlaw international arrivals, which involves travel within the EU and the UK continuing.
17/03/2020Worldwide curfews: French citizens are ordered to stay in their homes in near-total lockdown. Canada closes borders to foreigners with only essential flights to just four major cities. UK warns population to avoid all nonessential contact. Holland closes all schools. In the US, Los Angeles followed New York by announcing that bars, restaurants and entertainment venues should shut. Switzerland joins Austria banning public groups over 5 people.
17/03/2020The three main airline alliances oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance are jointly calling on governments and stakeholders to take action to alleviate the unprecedented challenges faced by the global airline industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Representing almost 60 airlines they urge governments worldwide to evaluate all possible means to assist the airline industry during this unprecedented period.  Link
16/03/2020EU chief Ursula Von Der Leyen has proposed a 30 day ban on all non-essential travel to the bloc as part of a joint battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The President of the European Commission proposed shutting borders for a month to stop the spread of the disease, but said it could be prolonged if necessary.
16/03/2020IAG (British Airways, Aer Lingus. Iberia, Level and Vueling) announces plans to cut 75% of capacity in April and May. Willie Walsh said “We have seen a substantial decline in bookings across our airlines and global network over the past few weeks and we expect demand to remain weak until well into the summer,"
16/03/2020Airlines call on governments for emergency funding to survive. Airlines UK, a trade body representing UK-registered airlines is reported to be asking for an immediate £7.5 billion to prevent a wipeout. Delta, American and United Airlines said on Friday there were in talks with the U.S. government about assistance. Lufthansa said it will ask several European governments for liquidity. Norwegian has said it was a matter of weeks before it ran out of cash and is in talks about a bailout.
16/03/2020More extreme measures in Europe: Germany has closed its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg. Austria has banned gatherings of more than five people. Ireland is asking all pubs to shut. Schools in the Netherlands are closing.
15/03/2020Borders are closing: Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic have sealed their borders, applying to land, air and sea traffic, currently until April 13. The Norwegian border will be closed for foreigners from tomorrow, including all airports and seaports. Australia requires all overseas arrivals to self isolate. Ukraine is closed to foreigners.
15/03/2020The epicentre of the outbreak has moved to Europe with France and Spain on full lockdown. In Spain people are banned from leaving home except for buying essential supplies and medicines, or for work. In France cafes, restaurants, cinemas, ski resorts and most shops are now shut. Italy has been on lockdown for a week.
14/03/2020The US travel ban will be extended to include UK and Ireland starting on Tuesday 17/03/2020 (04:00 GMT), US Vice-President Mike Pence has confirmed.
13/03/2020IATA welcomed the announcement by the European Commission granting the temporary suspension until June 2020 of the 80-20 “use it or lose it” rule for airport slots. Previously airlines were required to operate an airport slot for at least 80% of the time and were running wasteful 'ghost' flights to fulfil the obligation.
12/03/2020European airline share prices have been further impacted by the US travel ban. Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and IAG all dropped more than 10 per cent in early trading while the stock of heavily indebted Norwegian Air Shuttle plunged more than 30 per cent.  IATA has estimated the pandemic could cost airlines worldwide as much as $113bn in revenues this year.
12/03/2020President Trump announces USA will bar all travel from 26 European Countries from 14th March, but not including UK and Ireland. It does not apply to US Citizens.
11/03/2020Coronavirus is confirmed as pandemic by World Health Organization. WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold in two weeks. He said he was "deeply concerned" by "alarming levels of inaction".

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