South African Airways to cancel 162 flights, AWA reduces domestic flights by 20%

More airlines are announcing cancellations of flights amid the coronavirus epidemic.

South African Airways (SAA) is cancelling 162 flights between 17 March and 31 March 2020.

Out of these, 38 are international flights and 124 are regional, the company disclosed.

Similarly, African World Airlines has announced that it is scaling down domestic flights by about 20% and regional flights by 40%.

The airline, however, said it is adhering to preventive measures to ensure that its passengers are safe and secured.

“The effects of the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) have led to travel disruptions and restrictions across the world, leading to the grounding of aircraft, releasing employees, and cancelling flights for many airlines. SAA is not immune to these realities,” SAA Chief Commercial Officer, Philip Saunders said.

Chief Operating Officer of AWA, Sean Mendes also said his office will not lay off staff but is encouraging them to take their leave, adding “non-essential, non-operational staff are already on leave for a while. We have implemented protocols for our staff, operational roles at the airport and they are aware of mandatory washing of hands, they are also aware of wearing gloves.”

The International Air Transport Association has increased its estimate of the potential lost revenue for airlines from the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to as high as $113 billion