BA suspends all Gatwick flights due to coronavirus

British Airways is suspending all flights to and from Gatwick airport, in response to the travel restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes a day after easyJet grounded its entire fleet of aircraft for at least two months. Demand for travel has collapsed in recent weeks as many countries are in partial or full lockdown, forcing airlines to cancel thousands of flights.

BA, which is still running flights to and from Heathrow, said it would contact customers to discuss their options.

A BA spokesman said: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick.”

The airline will carry out essential work at Gatwick, including maintenance, to be ready to start up again once travel restrictions are relaxed.

The pandemic has pushed the global airline industry into crisis, with strict restrictions across most of the main air travel markets. Many airlines’ revenues have been all but wiped out and they are fighting for survival. Thousands of staff are being laid off but the UK government has insisted that it would not offer an industry-wide bailout.

On Monday, Loganair, the Scottish regional carrier, said it would be seeking government assistance beyond that offered to all British companies via the chancellor’s package of government-backed loans worth £330bn.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has hinted that the government would consider support on a case-by-case basis.

BA’s owner, International Airlines Group, on Monday said it had extended a $1.38bn (£1.09bn) credit buffer by a year to June 2021. This means it has access to €9.3bn in cash, cash equivalents and loans, which it can use to get through the crisis.

The Guardian

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