The number of international departure seats from China is set to drop by more than two-thirds in March compared with the same month a year ago, research by ASM and Routes has found. The massive reduction comes as airlines around the world, along with those in China, respond to the global spread of COVID-19 coronavirus following a surge in the number of serious cases.
Analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data shows the total number of international departure seats from China will total 2.76 million in March, down from 8.32 million in March 2019. The figures represent a capacity decline of 66.8%. Out of the top 20 biggest overseas markets, the largest drop in capacity is on flights to the US. In March 2020, the total number to the US is scheduled to be just 45’506, a decrease of 89%. www.routesonline.com
IATA requests global suspension of slot rules
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is contacting aviation regulators worldwide to request that the rules governing use of airport slots be suspended immediately and for the 2020 season, due to the impact of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus). Around 43% of all passengers depart from over 200 slot coordinated airports worldwide. At present, the rules for slot allocation mean that airlines must operate at least 80% of their allocated slots under normal circumstances. Failure to comply with this means the airline loses its right to the slot the next equivalent season.