Aircraft Cabin Management

US-Europe travel ban: Impact on airlines

IATA Alexandre de Juniac

The 30-day US-Europe travel ban begins at 11:59pm on Friday 13 March following the coronavirus pandemic announcement by the WHO.

The US-Europe travel ban is stopping individuals who are not US citizens or legal permanent residents of the US from entering the country if they have visited the Schengen Area in the previous 14 days.

Travel data and analytics expert Cirium, which analysed flight and seat data of passenger flights for 30 days from 14 March to 12 April to anticipate the impact of the US-Europe travel ban, says the most negatively affected countries are Germany with 1,714 flights scheduled, equalling to 14 per cent of all of Europe’s departing flights during this period, and France with 1,391 flights scheduled, accounting for 11 per cent of all of Europe’s flights.

Regarding the impact on airlines, Cirium says Delta Air Lines is the most affected with 1,256 scheduled flights from the restricted countries to the US over the 30 days, with United Airlines the second most affected with 1,040 flights. Lufthansa, which has 905 flights, is the third most affected airline.

Countries affected by the ban that have direct passenger flights to the US include Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Iceland, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Poland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Greece and Hungary. Countries affected by the ban which do not have direct passenger flights to the US include Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Economic impact

IATA is calling governments to prepare for the economic impact and respond quickly to the financial frailty of airlines.

“These are extraordinary times and governments are taking unprecedented measures. Safety—including public health—is always a top priority. Airlines are complying with these requirements. Governments must also recognise that airlines—employing some 2.7 million people—are under extreme financial and operational pressures. They need support,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Airlines are already struggling with the severe impact that the coronavirus crisis has had on their business, with IATA estimating earlier that the crisis could wipe out some $113 billion of revenue. However, that scenario did not include the severe measures the US and other governments have since put in place.

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