COVID-19: Russia's Aeroflot to reduce number of flights to Italy, South Korea, Vietnam over slumping demand

Russia’s flagship air carrier Aeroflot said on Friday it is reducing the number of flights to Italy and South Korea from March 10 and to Vietnam from March 11 due to the slumping demand amidst the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Thus, the company will perform four weekly flights to Rome instead of five in a period from March 10 to 28. The number of flights to Milan will also be reduced. In a period from March 10 to 26, it will make four flights a week to Seoul instead of seven, and three weekly flight to Hanoi instead of seven.

A number of other Russia air carriers have already reduced the number of flights to Italian destinations because of the acute coronavirus situation and decreasing demand. Thus, Pobeda, an Aeroflot group’s low cost carriers, has reduced the number of flights to Italy in March-April by 40% Utair reduced the number of weekly flights to Milan from seven to two.

Aeroflot’s Director General Vitaly Savelyev told journalists earlier the air company was sustaining serious financial losses because of the coronavirus situation.

A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple foci.

Cases of the new coronavirus have also been reported from more than 90 other countries, including Russia. The most serious coronavirus situation is reported in South Korea, Iran and Italy.

According to the latest update, the number of confirmed cases of the disease in China has exceeded 80,500, with more than 3,000 people killed by this coronavirus. More than 53,500 have recovered. 

The number of coronavirus patients outside China nears 15,000. As many as 267 have died.

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