With people are traveling less and less due to the COVID-19, aka coronavirus,outbreak, Delta Airlines announced on Wednesday that it would cut flight capacity by 70%.
Delta announced the flight reductions in an employee memo, according to CNBC. CEO Ed Bastian told employees that international flights would take the biggest hit.
“Our international operation will take the largest reduction, with over 80% of flying reduced over the next two to three months,” Bastian said in the memo.
Delta also announced on Wednesday that any ticket holder scheduled for a March or April flight would get an extended rebooking date until December 31, 2020.
Digital Trends reached out to Delta for further comment, to see if domestic flights could also end up taking a significant hit during this time. We will update this story when we hear back.
Last week, President Donald Trump initiated a travel ban that would suspend travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days beginning March 13. The travel restriction will apply not only to people but also to “the tremendous amount of trade and cargo,” Trump told the nation.
The coronavirus outbreak has significantly impacted the travel industry as a whole. Airbnb is allowing guests full refunds and hosts zero cancellation fees for reservations booked on or before March 14 with a check-in date of April 14 or earlier. However, since many people depend on Airbnb as a form of income, cancellations, and lack of reservations could negatively affect many people, as well as communities that thrive on being a tourist destination.
Many major events where people would have had to travel have been canceled or postponed as well, including South by Southwest, Coachella Music Festival, the Game Developer’s Conference, Microsoft’s Build 2020, and more.
The World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic last week. As of this writing, there have been more than 214,890 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and 8,732 confirmed deaths, according to an online dashboard that tracks global cases. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, but there have been confirmed cases in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and dozens of other countries around the globe.
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