Airlines cancel hundreds of flights amid coronavirus fears

11th Mar 2020

British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet have cancelled hundreds of flights, affecting tens of thousands of customers, amid fears over the spreading of coronavirus.

British Airways has cancelled 400 flights up to the 28 March, affecting around 70,000 passengers. The airline has offered customers the option of a full refund or the ability to rebook a flight at a later date in the next 12 months, without the usual fee.

“Customers on all cancelled services will be offered the option of a full refund, rebook to a later date or rebook on other carriers where possible,” said the airline. “By waiving our change fee, our customers can have the added confidence to book a trip with British Airways that suits them.”

However, if rebooking onto a more expensive flight, passengers will still have to pay the difference. The offer of a refund or fee-free rebooking is only for customers whose flights have been cancelled – customers who simply choose not to travel are not eligible for a refund, the airline has confirmed.

Ryanair has reduced its capacity by up to a quarter from 17 March to 8 April, resulting in tens of thousands of passengers having their flights cancelled.

Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said: “All affected customers will be advised of any schedule changes at least 14 days in advance.”

easyJet has cancelled all flights to and from Italy until 3 April. Passengers on the affected flights have been given the option of a full refund or a rebooking, while “rescue flights” will operate in the coming days in an attempt to repatriate stranded customers.

The airline said: “While these circumstances are outside of our control, we apologise to all affected customers for any inconvenience caused.”

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