The US Government’s ban on air travel between Europe and the United States could cost $2bn in lost revenue over the ban’s 30-day period, according to travel data and analytics expert Cirium.
Cirium’s data shows a total of 24,500 transatlantic flights were scheduled to operate between the US and Europe between 14 March and 12 April 12, equating to a lost passenger capacity of 5.5 million available seats.
The analysis indicates that losing this number of seats alone could result in a loss of $2bn in passenger revenue, calculated using Revenue Per Available Seat Mile (RASM).
The forecast comes as the ban on travel from 26 Schengen countries was brought into force this week as well as the recent extensions to the UK and Ireland.
Cirium’s director of market development for airlines and airports Alistair Rivers said: “While $2bn may seem like a small figure in comparison to what the major US carriers generate alone for Atlantic flights, this represents a significant loss considering the ban only applies to Schengen countries and the UK over a 30-day period.
“As airlines around the world react to government restrictions placed on travel, their clear objectives for now are to help contain the spread of the virus – protecting people – and at the same time try to survive this unprecedented crisis.”
London Heathrow is the European airport most heavily affected by the drastic suspension of flights, expected to lose a total of 820,000 scheduled transatlantic seats over the 30-day period.
Close behind are major European hubs Paris Charles de Gaulle, estimated to lose a total of 370,000 seats; Frankfurt, potentially losing over 340,000 seats; Amsterdam, expected to lose over 290,000 seats and Dublin, which is projected to lose more than 160,000 seats.
Cirium data also reveals that Delta Air Lines, the carrier most affected by the ban, is expected to lose more than 830,000 seats scheduled over the 30-day period. United Airlines is second most affected, potentially losing over 770,000 scheduled seats, followed by UK flag carrier British Airways, with over 750,000 seats; American Airlines, with over 690,000 seats and German carrier Lufthansa, with over 600,000 seats.
The restrictions on travel from Europe is in addition to the existing US ban on flights to and from Italy, the country that has become the new global epicentre of the pandemic.
Cirium analysis shows that 21,000 flights to, from and within Italy were cancelled from when flights started to reduce on 28 February 28 up until 16 March.
This includes 4,800 domestic services and 17,000 international flights, accounting for 44 per cent of total scheduled flights for the period.
In comparison, flights cancelled to, from and within Italy from 1 January to 27 February, before the virus outbreak, accounted for just six per cent of total scheduled flights and this included a strike in the region that affected operations on 25 February.
Meanwhile, as cases of covid-19 continue to fall in China, where the virus was first reported, international air travel remains largely restricted.
Cirium data shows that during the same period, ie 1 January to 16 March, more than 570,000 flights were cancelled to, from and within China. This equates to a cancellation rate of over 47 per cent against original flight schedules.
Year on year, scheduled domestic traffic is down by over a third (33 per cent) while international schedule growth for flights to and from China is down by 81 per cent.
Visit cirium.com for more information.