TAP suspends a further 2,500 flights over Coronavirus
After having cancelled 1000 flights last week due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Portugal’s national carrier TAP has now cancelled a further 2,500 flights.
Once again, these measures have been blamed on a “fall in bookings for the coming months”.
To calm customers, the airline will allow them to change their flight dates or destinations from tickets bought in March at no extra cost.
This total reduction of 3,500 flights is equivalent to “7% of flights scheduled for March, 11% in April and 19% in May,” states TAP in a communiqué.
“These measures are justified by the fall in flight bookings and holidays for the next few months seen over the past few days.”
The fresh round of cancellations are most affecting “cities in the regions most affected by the virus, particularly Italy,” but also include other European markets such as Spain and France, “which have seen considerable falls in demand,” and also some intercontinental flights.
The airline states that it will contact all passengers affected by these cancellations to help customers find “the best options and alternatives.”
In order to ensure “greater flexibility and peace of mind” for customers, TAP has, from yesterday (Monday), allowed passengers to change the date or destination of booked flights purchased between 8 and 31 March, without any cost or taxes. This exemption will not, however, include discount tariffs, adding that requests to change flight dates must be made at least 21 days before departure.
TAP is not the only company to announce the cancellation of flights because of the effects of Coronavirus.
The first cancellations were announced by easyJet which decided to cancel some flights to and from Italy. Ryanair followed which cancelled up to 25% of its flights for three weeks and announced a fresh round of flight cancellations on Monday because of impositions imposed by the Italian Government.