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Delta Air Lines Suspends All Flights To Europe

By Parker Diakite

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Delta Air Lines has announced that they are suspending all flights to continental Europe as the coronavirus continues to spread.

In an internal memo to the airline’s 90,000 employees, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said: “Demand for travel is declining at an accelerated pace daily, driving an unprecedented revenue impact.” He said the move is the largest “capacity reduction” since the 9/11 attacks.

The news that Delta is cutting 40 percent of its flight capacity comes days after President Donald Trump announced a travel ban to visitors from Europe ­– a move that has decimated some of the travel industry’s busiest and lucrative routes.

“Cancellations are rising dramatically with net bookings now negative for travel over the next four weeks,” Bastian said in the memo. “To put that in perspective, we’re currently seeing more cancellations than new bookings over the next month.”

Delta officials said they will offer short-term, unpaid leave to employees and will implement a hiring freeze to offset losses. Bastian also said he will forgo his salary for the next six months.

“We are in discussions with the White House and Congress regarding the support they can provide to help us through this period,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees first obtained by POLITICO. “I’m optimistic we will receive their support.”

Other airlines are also cutting back. American Airlines have plans to stop flying to continental Europe and will suspend some service to South America. United Airlines will cut service from the U.S. to Europe by half.

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