Singapore Airlines to cut flights as coronavirus outbreak hits demand

PTI Singapore | Updated on February 18, 2020

Singapore Airlines on Tuesday said that it will temporarily cut flights across its global network, including Mumbai, in the three months to May as the deadly coronavirus outbreak has impacted the flight demand to the city-state.

Key affected destinations include Mumbai, Frankfurt, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo, the airline said in a statement.

The coronavirus epidemic has hit demand for services to Singapore as well as through the key transit hub. The outbreak began in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province, in December and has now spread across the globe.

Singapore’s tally of 77 cases of the virus is one of the highest outside mainland China, where 1,868 people have been killed in the epidemic as 98 more people died on Monday while the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 72,436.

“Singapore Airlines and SilkAir will temporarily reduce services across our network due to weak demand as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak,” the carrier said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments as necessary.” The airline added that affected customers will be “notified and re-accommodated onto other flights.

“It’s not a surprise to see some cuts in flights, given the weak forward bookings that can be expected from the current environment,” Channel News Asia reported quoting DBS analyst Paul Yong. Demand on flights to South Korea and Japan had been hit hardest after China.

A number of global airlines, including Air India, British Airways, Lion Air and Indigo airline have also suspended their flights to Chinese cities as Beijing struggled to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus within the country.

Published on February 18, 2020

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