Airlines cancel flights and reduce operations by 50% to comply with state of alarm decree
Authorities warn of “severe delays” for the coming weeks as covid-19 coronavirus crisis continues
As the state of alarm was officially announced all across Spain last night, the effects are being felt in airports already, with companies cancelling flights and reducing operations by 50%.
In Barcelona airport, around 30 flights in and out of the Catalan capital have already been called off today, in order to comply with the alarm status decree, which obliges all airliners to reduce operations by half.
Companies will be permitted to make this adaptation gradually, and they are discussing exact details with Spanish air authorities and Pedro Sánchez’s government.
For its part, Enaire, Spain’s air navigation management body, has announced that it will reduce the number of traffic controllers working, in order to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
They also announced that this will lead to "severe delays" in the coming weeks. Two air traffic controllers in Barcelona tested positive for the covid-19 coronavirus last Thursday.
Even though the alarm status decree has already taken effect, airlines will have a few days to reduce their number of operations. Thirty cancellations have already been registered this Sunday, and many more are expected by Monday.
The English company EasyJet, for example, has announced that it will operate all scheduled flights with Spain on March 15 and 16 to "help people return home," but will suspend the rest of flights scheduled from Tuesday 17.