On 25 February 2020, Aer Lingus noted it had been advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs that travel restrictions were being placed on several Italian towns within Italy’s Lombardy region as a result of an outbreak of Coronavirus there.
On 13 March, the President of the United States announced a European travel ban which initially exempted Ireland,however was extended to cover Ireland the following day.Aer Lingus subsequently announced network-wide reductionswhich eventually saw its network of flights reduced by 95%, the airlines plan for its biggest summer schedule within its history was scuppered as a result of what became a global pandemic.In a temporary measure, the airline confirmed it was cutting hours and salaries for all employees by 50%.
Air Deccan’s CEO Arun Kumar Singh announced that all employees have been put on sabbatical without pay and ceased all operations until further notice.Air Canada announced a temporary layoff of 16,500 employees, suspending most of its international flights and cancelled all Boeing 737 MAX 9 ordersHowever, most of the workers were later rehired under a wage subsidy program instituted by the Government of Canada. The airline later planned to lay off up to 60% of its workforce, affecting 20,000 employees, effective 7 June 2020.
Air France–KLM’s chairman and CEO, Benjamin Smith stated in a video recording to staff that the situation was “unprecedented”. The Financial Times reported that the French government was exploring ways to provide the airline with cash.Air France-KLM later announced it would reduce capacity by 70–90%, as well as retiring all of the Airbus A340, Airbus A380, and Boeing 747-400 fleets.Air Georgian, a Canadian charter airline, began offering repatriation flights.
In March 2020, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Air Tahiti Nui operated the world’s longest domestic passenger flight, flying from Papeete to Paris, France, covering 9,765 miles.Air Zimbabwe was forced to suspend all flights indefinitely on 26 March 2020.The airline was subsequently forced to put all employees on unpaid leave and is in the process of creating a post-pandemic masterplan.Alaska Airlines reported a first-quarter loss of US$232 million, retired 12 Airbus A320 family aircraft inherited from Virgin America.
The sale process of Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia was accelerated, and the Italian government cut deadlines for interested investors to submit offers from 31 May to 18 March.Between the weeks of 2 and 9 March – when the Italian government announced a national lockdown – Alitalia’s capacity in international flights fell by 22 percent.American Airlines cut its domestic flight schedule by 60%–70% in April 2020 and 80%–90% in May, with only a “handful” of international routes staying in operation.On 6 April, American announced that almost all flights to the New York City area would be suspended.By 30 April, American had received US$10.6 billion in government relief, but was reporting pandemic-related losses of about US$70 million daily and US$2.2 billion total.
British Airways CEO Álex Cruz informed staff that BA was facing a crisis worse than the aftermath of the SARS outbreak or the 9/11 attacks, and wrote that “jobs would be lost – perhaps for a short term, perhaps longer term.”After putting some 23,000 workers on furlough, on 28 April British Airways’ parent IAG announced a restructuring and redundancy programme that could result in 12,000 BA job redundancies. On 16 April 2020, anticipating a major global travel crisis due to COVID-19, Vietnam Airlines announces that it sells its 49% stake in Cambodia Angkor Air to an undisclosed buyer.
On March 15, 2020, Cebu Pacific announced that all domestic flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila were canceled due to the rising cases of the Coronavirus in the Philippines from March 15 to April 14. However. They will still operate international flights regularly.2 days later on March 17, it was followed up by an announcement that the airline and its subsidiary, Cebgo, will be suspending all operations due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine measures implemented by the government over the entire island of Luzon to control the spread of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.