Vistara to cancel 54 international flights next month as COVID-19 outbreak weakens demand

February 27
08:56 2020

Full service carrier Vistara will cancel 54 international flights next month, including on routes connecting Delhi with Bangkok and Singapore, amid weak demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement on Wednesday, the airline said it has made temporary adjustments to selected services to/from Bangkok and Singapore for March.

“20 flights between Delhi and Bangkok, 26 flights between Mumbai and Singapore and 8 flights between Delhi and Singapore will be cancelled in March 2020,” it said.

The airline said the adjustments have been made to the services in response to weak demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Vistara will continue to monitor the situation and progressively evaluate the need for any further adjustments to its schedule to meet changing demand patterns,” it noted.

With respect to the cancelled flights, customers can opt for a full refund or alternative travel dates free of cost.

Such customers would not have to pay any cancellation or re-issuance fee.

A joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, Vistara operates more than 200 flights daily.

Over 2,700 people have died due to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), while the number of those infected is around 80,000. In the wake of the virus outbreak, whose epicentre is China, many airlines, including Indian carriers, have cancelled some of their overseas flights.

Air India has cancelled its flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong till June 30.

An Air India spokesperson said the airline has reduced frequency of its flights on Delhi-Singapore route to five days from seven days.

Further, the airline is now operating flights on four days on Mumbai-Chennai-Singapore route while it was daily earlier.

A GoAir spokesperson said the airline has scaled down the number of flights operated to Phuket and Bangkok. These flights are being operated from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Specific details could not be immediately ascertained.

Last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said there was a potential 13 per cent full-year loss of passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region due to COVID-19.

“Considering that growth for the region’s airlines was forecast to be 4.8 per cent, the net impact will be an 8.2 per cent full-year contraction compared to 2019 demand levels,” the grouping had said on the basis of an initial assessment.

“In this scenario, that would translate into a USD 27.8 billion revenue loss in 2020 for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region — the bulk of which would be borne by carriers registered in China, with USD 12.8 billion lost in the China domestic market alone,” it said.

IATA is a global grouping of around 290 airlines, including Vistara and Air India.

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