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Airlines call for government aid, United warns of cuts to U.S. routes

Christian Fernsby |
Airlines yesterday appealed for urgent government financial support as U.S. carriers rushed to cut flights to Europe in the wake of new U.S. travel restrictions aimed at combating the coronavirus outbreak, while United Airlines warned of U.S. travel disruption as the virus spreads domestically.

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Topics: AIRLINES    UNITED    U.S.   

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global industry group representing airlines, called on governments to consider extending lines of credit, reducing infrastructure costs and cutting taxes.

U.S. travel curbs on much of continental Europe announced by President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening deepened the sector’s misery that began after the virus emerged in China late last year and reduced traffic.

“Without a lifeline from governments we will have a sectoral financial crisis piled on top of the public health emergency,” said IATA Director-General Alexandre de Juniac.

And with more cases emerging in the U.S., United’s CEO and President told employees they expect “the need to mobilize an effective response in more places will increase.”

United will continue flying its U.S. European schedule through March 19, but in April it will only run 34 daily flights versus 63 planned initially, a spokeswoman said.

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