Due to the coronavirus, Austrian Airlines canceled a fifth of all flights of its European network in March last week. As the situation remains tense and bookings continue to fall sharply, Austrian Airlines will make further adjustments to its flight schedule: In March and April, Austrian Airlines will cancel up to 50 percent of flights in total.
Due to an official landing ban on flights from all over Italy, which came into effect today, Naples and Rome will no longer be served with immediate effect. Since Tuesday, 10 March, there has also been an official ban on the remaining Austrian Airlines destinations in Italy, namely Bologna, Milan and Venice. As a result, the whole of Italy will no longer be served from today until further notice. Furthermore, apart from thinning out, various destinations will temporarily be suspended at the latest from end of March until 24 April. These include Birmingham, Manchester, Lyon, Barcelona, Florence, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Oslo, Gothenburg, Krakow, Sibiu, Vilnius, Minsk and St. Petersburg. Florence, as a seasonal summer destination, would have originally been back in the program as of the end of March. However, this route will also be suspended until 24 April. All the above-mentioned destinations remain accessible via other Lufthansa Group hubs, such as Frankfurt. Affected passengers will be rebooked accordingly. The planned first flight to Boston will be postponed from the end of March to 2 June. There will be no flights to Tel Aviv until 24 April. Austrian Holidays will also not operate flights to Italy from the start of the summer flight schedule in April.
“Unfortunately, due to the development of the coronavirus, we are forced to intervene in our flight program even more strongly and painfully than before. The situation remains complex. Therefore, we cannot rule out further measures. We apologize to all affected customers for the irregularities of the flight schedule and ask for their understanding”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.
Owing to its cooperation partner ÖBB, Austrian Airlines was quickly able to find an additional solution for the passengers affected travelling from and to Salzburg. From 1 April, the AIRail service between Salzburg and Vienna will be increased from three to up to 13 trains per day. These connections are coordinated with the previous Austrian Airlines timetable, so that Austrian Airlines customers on this route, most of whom are transfer passengers, will continue to have good connection options from Vienna. Travelers also continue to benefit from the good connections between Salzburg and Frankfurt via Lufthansa flights, which also means that much larger aircraft can increasingly be used on this route than before.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, Norwegian is preparing to cancel approximately 3000 flights between mid-March and mid-June.